Many youngsters harbour career ambitions from a young age, but for 16-year-old Blythe Walker, she’s dead set on making hers become a reality.
For as long as she can remember, Blythe has aspired to be a doctor, and the fact she has been offering her services as a volunteer for various charities for the past seven years has only furthered her desire to spend time working with and helping children living in one of the poorest parts of rural India.
Blythe, a Christleton High School Sixth Form student from Vicars Cross , wants to take part in Project India, a pre-medical placement trip run by Medical Projects which, through a charitable trust, offers students the chance to spend valuable time achieving hands-on experience at a hospital in Dervan, south of Mumbai.
The two weeks will see Blythe completing 50 hours of hospital work experience in addition to clinical skills sessions, first aid training and gaining a certificate from St John’s ambulance.
She hopes the clinical work would give her some priceless experience in her quest to be a qualified medic, as well as giving her university applications a huge boost.
At the moment Blythe is trying to raise funds for the trip and is paying for a large portion of the travel herself. But she admits she needs some help.
“I am still a high school student and raising funds of this size is a challenge which I embrace whole-heartedly but I do need a bit of assistance,” she said.
“Knowing my intention to study medicine at university, my teachers suggested that Project India would be an ideal opening for me and I intend to make the most of this chance, which is why I hope people will consider making a small donation to my fundraising efforts.
“This type of work experience is extremely rare in the UK, especially for under 18s. The trip will provide me with the chance to enjoy the colourful culture for which India is famous and to see some of the beautiful natural scenery.
“Project India is an opportunity to immerse myself in the culture of India and to meet and work with doctors who have dedicated their lives to helping the rural poor.”
Blythe added: “For many years I have aspired to be a doctor and this placement offers me the unique possibility of practical experience in a wide range of departments including internal medicine, surgery, paediatrics, maternity, oncology, intensive care and orthopaedics.
For her to participate in Project India, Blythe needs to raise £2,500, which will help to pay for her travel, accommodation, food, vaccinations, insurance, flights and visa costs.
“Although I have had the full support of my friends and family, I greatly appreciate any donation that people are willing to contribute – supporters like you will help to make my dream possible,” said Blythe who has already raised more than £1,000 of her target.
The teenager is no stranger to volunteering and completes many hours of charity work each year.
Blythe hopes the trip will allow her to build on this experience which includes fundraising and working with hospices that support with children suffering life-limiting illnesses.
Her teachers at school are supportive of her quest, including biology teacher Jane Parker, who said: “I am very proud of the fact that Blythe has volunteered to take part in this worthwhile project in India.
“Blythe helps me run the school medical association which aims to support students aspiring to a career as a health professional; I’m confident Blythe with make a huge success of this venture.”
Blythe added: “Project India will enable me to have an amazing adventure in a totally different environment and I am most excited to be in the hospital itself working alongside doctors with real patients.”
If you’re interested in making a contribution, you can donate online at Blythe’s fundraising page by going to www.gofundme.com and searching for ‘Project India Trip’.