Class of 2014

Graduates gear up for volunteering challenge

DAVE 2-2Meet David and Elliot, two graduates who are gearing up for a 10,000 mile, fifty week long, volunteering challenge.
Not content with landing their degrees, two intrepid Cardiff graduates are gearing up for an audacious bid to visit and volunteer in all fifty European countries over the next fifty weeks.Theology graduate David Owen and History graduate Elliot Brookes-Parry have set themselves the challenge to raise funds for WaterAidUK and encourage more people to take up volunteering.“We really want to raise as much money for WaterAidUK and promote volunteering as a means of travelling for students who are on a budget,” according to David, who is also Vice-President of Cardiff University Athletics Club.

“We also want to see if this is possible – it’s only going to be done through people’s generosity. We plan on working very hard throughout the year and hope we can find a volunteering opportunity in every country.

“By the end of the fifty weeks we hope to have gained more independence, life experience and a generally wider understanding of the cultures we see throughout Europe.”

This is not the first time that David has spent time out helping others.

He also spent last summer in Europe where he developed the travelling bug. David adds: “Last summer I volunteered through the website www.helpx.net and realised how useful websites such as those are for students who want to travel, but are on a budget.

“It was an amazing experience. I met friends for life, some of whom I’m returning to stay with this summer before starting the challenge in August,” explains David.

After graduation, David has a job lined- up in the South of France with some of the people he met last summer when volunteering. After the challenge he plans to use his TEFL qualification to teach English in either China or Argentina for a few years.

Elliot is also working over the summer to raise as much money for the challenge as possible and then plans to use his TEFL qualification to teach English in either Spain or Japan.

And the ultimate aim? Well, David couldn’t be much clearer.

“We want to travel, raise money for a good cause, promote volunteering and hopefully have a successful and unique gap year that by the end of it we can say: ‘We’ve visited every country in Europe and raised as much money as we can for WaterAidUK,’” he added.

Further information is available at: www.thegraduatechallenge.tumblr.com

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