THE PROUD parents of a Shrawley teenager who is going off to India later this year to help those in need hope he will be an inspiration to other across the district.
Jacob Edwards, 15, will depart for Uttarakhand on July 19 where he will be expected to harvest rainwater as well as helping families who work for less than a pound a day before spending his leisure time learning about the culture and country.
The Chantry School (Martley) pupil is hoping to raise £3,000 to fund the trip after finding out about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity last year.
His parents Mark and Lucy Edwards have given Jacob £1,000 towards the cause but the cub scout assistant leader at Abberley and Witley is expected to raise the rest himself.
To raise the shortfall Jacob has offered his services to help people in the area with their gardening as well cleaning gutters and babysitting.
So far he has raised about £2,300 and father Mr Edwards hopes his son’s actions will prove to be an inspiration to others across the Malvern Hills district.
“It would be such a nice thought if he could inspire others because doing something for others is so much more rewarding than living in a virtual world,” he said.
“Hopefully the message he can get across is that if the youth of Malvern take responsibility for themselves they can create something to do.
“Jacob likes his video games but ever since he joined the scouts they have proved to be an inspiration for him to go out there and help others.
“As parents we are immensely proud of our son and he is very much looking forward to going to India where he might possibly visit the Taj Mahal.”
Jacob was involved in a 50-mile bike ride on Saturday (April 29) where he visited 11 churches across Worcestershire as well as ringing their bells to raise funds for his trip to India.
The news of Jacob’s story got round so fast that the bell ringers from Clifton and Martley, aged from 18 to 80, accompanied him to two of the churches.
After a gruelling 13-hour journey, Jacob completed his challenge back in his home town, raising about £450.
“For a teenager who had only ever cycled 22 miles in one go, this was a such a challenge for him,” Mr Edwards said.
“After 30 miles he had blisters from all the bell ringing and after 40 miles he started to realise what he had put himself through.
“It’s safe to say he was absolutely cream crackered when he got home.”
Anybody who wants to donate to Jacob’s cause can do so by visiting http://bit.ly/2qAfKLM.