TWO York teachers are giving up their summer to volunteer for a teacher-training project – in Sierra Leone.

Helen Banks of Westfield Primary in Acomb, and Lauren McBride, of Fishergate primary, will travel to the west African country in August to help with a campaign by the charity Street Child, which helps children get access to education.

They will spend the trip mentoring teachers, running workshops and helping children get back into education in a classroom setting.

To raise money for the trip, teachers from Westfield teamed up with staff from Fishergate on Sunday for a 30-mile sponsored cycle ride from York to Selby.

Along with bake sales and non-uniform days at both schools, the fundraising total is £1,500.

Tracey Ralph, the head teacher at Westfield, said she was “very proud” so many staff members made an effort to help the “outstanding” teachers.

She said: “Helen and Lauren were both appointed as newly qualified teachers at Westfield, and I was not at all surprised to hear that these outstanding teachers are giving up part of their summer holiday to go and support this project.

“Both schools are working hard to raise funds, and I am very proud that so many Westfield staff went on the sponsored bike ride on Sunday – though again not at all surprised that our staff are willing to go the extra mile, or should I say 30 miles.”

Andy Herbert, Fishergate head teacher, said: “I am delighted that Fishergate School can be involved in supporting Lauren and Helen with this important project.

“Their time in Sierra Leone will be a fantastic experience for them and a great help for children and their teachers through this excellent charity.

“We look forward to hearing all about their experiences when they get back.”

Street Child is one of west Africa’s leading charities for out-of-school children.

Working in 30 locations across Sierra Leone, it helps over 20,000 children to access education by training teachers and building schools.

Its Every Child In School appeal, which Helen and Lauren are supporting, aims to give at least 5,000 children the chance to go to school. All donations to the appeal are being matched by the government until June 17 and anyone wishing to donate should email