Burnley College student volunteers return from life-changing trip to Thailand

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Students from across Burnley College Sixth Form Centre have returned to their studies after taking a once-in-a-lifetime volunteering trip to Thailand.

The trip, organised by Burnley College Sixth Form Centre’s extra-curricular volunteering and student services teams and charity Global Vision International, gave students the outstanding opportunity to volunteer in marine and coastal teaching conservation projects in Ban Nam Khem and Phang Nga, in South West Thailand.

Burnley College students volunteered in Thailand

Burnley College students volunteered in Thailand

On arrival, the group explored the village of Bang Nam Khen and the Tsunami Memorial Park to learn about the devastating effects of the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami. Then, fully refreshed after a well-deserved night’s sleep, the volunteers learned about the important conservation work they’d be taking part in and hiked in Khao Lak-Lam Ru national park to experience first-hand the variety and diversity of wildlife, flora and fauna in the Thai rainforests.

This knowledge was important for the students’ conservation work, as they began to learn about the damage plastic litter can have on mangrove and marine environments and to the wildlife that lives there.

A large part of Global Vision International’s volunteering programmes involve the conservation of the Green Turtle and educating locals and the wider world about the importance of each creature’s impact on ecology.

Taking care of the Green Turtles was a trip highlight and each volunteer had the opportunity to clean and handle the turtles throughout the week, discovering more about their life cycles and the challenges they may face when released into the wild.

Later in the week, the students sailed to tropical island paradise Koh Pra Thong, took expeditions into Little Amazon, visited the Tsunami Memorial Museum, sampled Thai culture at Khao Lak market and taught English (and the Burnley accent) to local primary school children.

Head of Student Services and Volunteering Paul Whittaker said:

“Each of the student volunteers who came on this trip was an absolute credit to Burnley College Sixth Form Centre. Every day was an exciting day of discovery for everyone and learning new skills and knowledge in conservation, ecological science and teaching made it such a worthwhile experience for each member of the group.”

Principal Hugh Bramwell said:

“Volunteering is an important part of the student experience here at Burnley College Sixth Form Centre and it’s extremely encouraging that so many of our students were keen to take part in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The hard work and dedication each volunteer put into their tasks with Global Vision International was exceptional and I hope their experience inspires their peers to take part in the volunteering opportunities available to them to enhance their studies and broaden their horizons.”