STARS of sport and television have sent good luck messages to a team of Cheshire fire cadets who are jetting to Nepal to help build classrooms at a village school.
After two years of fundraising, the group of Cheshire Fire Cadets, including cadets from Chester and Tarporley, are heading to Kathmandu this weekend.
The cadets have raised the money for a project to build six classrooms on the side of a school in Kangel, which is in the Solukhumbu District in the Sagarmatha Zone of North-Eastern Nepal.
Several celebrities, including a Gold medal winning Olympian, have sent messages of support on Twitter.
Six-time Olympic cycling champion Sir Chris Hoy said: “Good luck guys!”.
BAFTA award winning journalist and BBC presenter Victoria Derbyshire said: “Amazing work! Hope it goes brilliantly.”
Most Haunted presenter and former Blue Peter host Yvette Fielding said: “Good luck guys. What an adventure! And what a great thing you are doing.”
Coronation Street actress Cath Tyldesley, BBC Breakfast’s Dan Walker, Rugby League player Ashton Sims, Emmerdale actor Bhasker Patel, and Britain’s Got Talent winner Richard Jones also sent good luck messages.
Radio One DJ Greg James tweeted: “GOOD LUCK – you are all amazing. In a world full of dreadful nonsense, people like you make it much less bleak.”
Oxford graduate and maths whizz Rachel Riley, who took over from Carol Vorderman as co-host on Countdown in 2009, said: “What an incredible effort, huge amounts of luck with such an admirable project.”
Many children in the Solukhumbu District work or take care of younger siblings or elderly relatives, so generally have no education. Working with the charity Classroom in the Clouds, the group of 18 cadets and nine leaders have had to raise around £70,000 themselves to fund the trip.
This will pay for building of the classrooms, the group’s flights, accommodation and any equipment needed to finish off the school before it’s handed over to the village during a celebratory ceremony.
The team fly from Manchester to Kathmandu on Saturday before embarking on foot for four and a half days to trek through the Himalayas, to get to the village of Kangel.
They will be accompanied by a doctor from the United Kingdom and will meet Dawa Geljen Sherpa and his team of Sherpas, who will accompany the group while they are in Nepal.
Among the group going to Nepal are Lauren Hutchinson and Carla Jones, who are fire cadets at Chester Fire Station.
Laura, 15, likes swimming and mountain boarding, and Carla, 14, likes horses and works at a local farm.
The cadets will be writing a daily blog during the trip.
Several experienced firefighters will be leading the group, including Ant McCarthy who has been an operational firefighter at Chester for 18 years and has recently become a Watch Manager.
See full story in the Chester Leader