Having a giraffe to fund charity mission
A student who is due to head to Kenya to help wildlife and people raffled off a four foot giraffe to help fund his trip.
Alfie Bagnall and four fellow Bridgnorth Endowed School pupils will head to Africa next summer for a month-long trip of charity work and personal development.
Alfie, who is on the autistic spectrum, will be 15 when the Camps International expedition leaves in July 2020 and is passionate about animals and conservation.
But before he gets on the plane he needs to raise more than £4,000, and he has begun gathering funds with the help of his mother Becky.
This week they held a raffle for a toy giraffe at the Alley Katz toy store in Bridgnorth, where Becky works and Alfie helps out in the school holidays. The raffle raised £297 towards Alfie's fund.
Mrs Bagnall said: "All money raised by the students is used to get them to Kenya, and for them to then assist in a variety of project work.
"This includes community development work, wildlife conservation and personal challenges, one of which is a four or five day trek up Mt Kenya.
"To say we as parents are proud of Alfie for even wanting to go and do this is an understatement.
"Being autistic with Asperger syndrome, the daily humdrum of life is a challenge, with sensory issues around smell, touch, sound, taste and making eye contact.
"Meeting new people and trust can take extra time. He takes things literally, these are just some of the daily mountains he climbs to find his place in the world, but it is also what makes Alfie Alfie – the kind, considerate caring person he is.
"This whole experience, vaccinations, getting kit ready, travelling without parents and including the fundraising is a step in the direction of him experiencing a taste of independence and a stepping stone into what can be his future.
"Daily life can be a struggle but he has a strong, loving family with a close network of support from friends assisting in every step of the way.
"One of his passions is wildlife and conservation, he is a fountain of knowledge where animals and their surroundings are concerned, and has a keen interest in environmental issues.
"As far as he's concerned Kenya is a done deal. Kenya here he comes."
While in Africa Alfie will learn some Swahili, plant trees and build fences and help with wildlife conservation programmes.
Mrs Bagnall said: "All donations are gratefully received with huge thanks. Future fundraising events will be advertised via Alleykatz Toy Shop's Facebook page.
"With a total of over £4,300 to be raised he is going to be busy, once he's reached his target if he has extra he is going to put it toward the other students' targets if they have not reached it.
"Many of the toy shop's suppliers have been donating prizes for a larger raffle planned later in the year to be drawn just before Christmas – Jelly Cats, Top Model, Peterkin, Orange Tree, Bud Duck and TY to name a few.
"Alfie would like to thank the Bridgnorth Lions for their kind and generous donation."
To donate to Alfie's appeal visit https://bit.ly/2XmaXhb