Many spend their gap year earning money to then travel, gaining a huge amount from the experience. Others find that getting involved in some sort of community project, whether here or overseas, can not only benefit those being helped, but can have a life-changing effect on the individual. Such was the experience of recent OCs Ione Haddock and Sam Wilson. Both spent their gap year working with ‘Project Trust’ in remote communities, living with the local people and teaching their children.

An audience of parents, staff and Cranleighans were held spell-bound by our two speakers as they described their respective years – Sam in Central America and Ione in Cambodia. Ione worked with children suffering from AIDS-related illnesses and Sam taught science and geography up to IGCSE. Although their experiences were very different, both their stories were deeply personal, told with great passion, which inspired others to emulate them in the future. They changed the lives of others and were themselves profoundly changed in so doing.