By Lorraine Gibson.
In the Purbeck Gazette’s recent story about Wimborne schoolgirl Scarlet Sutcliffe’s mission to clean a beach a week to raise funds for her trip to Cambodia, where she will be volunteering, she had already cleared eight of her 60-miles target.
The total’s since grown, as has her list of odd discarded items, which includes proof that, while many beach-goers are messy, they’re also dentally fastidious.
“There’s been a surprising amount of dental floss sticks,” says Scarlet, who’s planning more fundraisers.
“I’ve completed 35 miles and have 25 left to do. A friend joined us on two cleans supports me on Instagram, and some generous members of the public donated money to my GoFundMe page as a ‘thank you’ – it is very rewarding!”
Scarlet often uses social media to further her progress.
“My Instagram and Facebook accounts, Challenge_Cambodia_2024, have really helped me get the word out, but local press, such as this, is key in spreading awareness.
“We’ll be heading towards Burton Bradstock, Eype and the West Bay Area for the last leg of the journey.”
The Cambodia Expedition, in which she’ll be part of a team of young volunteers, works with rural communities on projects that raise educational and living standards – she will also assist with wildlife and environmental conservation programmes.
As well as litter-picking, Scarlet has held other events to raise the £4,500 needed for her trip.
“So far, I’ve raised £1,000 with a skittles evening, Christmas Tree collection, school cake sales and the beach clean,” she says.
“My latest event is an Easter Scavenger Hunt around Wimborne. Every child taking part gets a small chocolate egg but there are bigger prizes on offer, thanks to local sponsors.
“I hope the community gets behind this and that lots of families attend, from pre-schoolers to grown-ups.
“The Museum of East Dorset is hosting the event in its beautiful garden and Tesco has donated large Easter eggs as prizes for Best Social Media Post and Best Team Name. Team names will be shared on the day and a museum representative and I will decide the winner!
“All entries go into the prize draws and a special prize – the Golden Ticket for the largest group entering – allows free visits to local attractions, so bring all your friends and family!
“It would be amazing to raise £150 but the sky’s the limit,” says Scarlet. “I just hope people get behind the idea and support it on the day!”
For information and to book your place, visit @challengecambodia_2024 on Facebook and Instagram, or visit https://gofund.me/6fe6914d.