We are very excited to be celebrating the success of Upper Sixth student Ellen who has been awarded a prestigious Bulkeley Evans HMC Scholarship of £750 towards her gap year plans. She will be using the funds in her travels to the Solomon Islands where she will spend a year teaching English and science in a secondary school as part of the Project Trust Gap Year. Ellen has already won grants from both the St Helen's Parents Association and the Lord Mayor’s 800th Anniversary Awards Trust for her travels and has also undergone a selection course to gain her place on the exciting scheme.
The year will build on Ellen’s experience as part of the St Helen’s expedition to Swaziland for four weeks in July 2018. Her team built the first old people’s home in Swaziland, a task in which Ellen clearly shone. She was described as a ‘total star’ during the trip and praised for her ability to motivate the group when morale was low. Her leadership skills have also been evident during her year as Sports Captain and prefect at St Helen’s and as part of several sports teams which have gained regional and national recognition.
Ellen says that she is “definitely scared to be going away for so long, but it will be a massive adventure. I think I will get so much more confident being in a very remote place, and it will be amazing to meet new people and learn how to fit in with them.” She will also bring her sporting experience to the community she will be part of: “I’m hoping to set up a girls’ football team!”
Mrs Dougall praised Ellen’s aptitude for challenging projects such as this: “Ellen thrived on the Swaziland expedition and this has inspired her to embark on a gap year with the Project Trust. We feel she will excel at this after seeing her general competence, ability for hard work, her care and interest in helping others and making a positive impact. She is a brilliant young woman.”
Opportunities such as these are hugely valuable and are very much encouraged at St Helen’s. They give young women the chance of developing their own character and skills and also of beginning to make a contribution to the wider world.