TWO groups of York students are preparing for the trip of the lifetime to carry out vital humanitarian work in a remote mountain area of Thailand.

The volunteers, all from the University of York, are heading to the mountains oin the northwest of the country with York-based charity the Karen Hilltribes Trust.

Two groups of four students will each spend a month - July and August - helping local people install a specially designed clean water system into their village.

In the past, locals have had to rely on surface water, by the end of the project each house will have its own tap supplying clean, safe water.

William Harnden, director of the Trust, said: "These York students will live and work alongside the Karen people for three weeks, in the rainy season, sharing their lives and working hard in very difficult conditions. This is a challenging and unique opportunity to experience another culture while transforming the lives of others."

The two systems being installed this summer will join around 130 which the Trust has provided since it was set up.

The system was specially designed by the charity's own staff in Thailand to work in the mountainous conditions, and the systems already up and running have given 50,000 people access to clean water, William added.

The students have each raised around £1500 to fund their trip, make donate to the charity, and cover the cost of their own flights and transport in Thailand.

The Karen Hilltribes Trust was set up in 1999 in memory of Richard Worsley, who had volunteered in Thailand on projects like this one but was killed five years later in a car crash aged 24.

The Trust is dedicated supports the 400,000 Karen people living in north west Thailand to build themselves a better future. Its three key aims are to improve health, increase children’s access to education and help secure farmer’s livelihoods.