WORKING on a project to fight international poverty has given a former Hardenhuish School pupil a desire to make a difference to the world.

Holly Selman, 19, from Chippenham spent 10 weeks working on a project in Bangladesh as part of a government funded scheme, International Citizen Service (ICS). It aims to get as many young people making a positive difference overseas.

Miss Selman did her volunteering in February with international development organisation VSO, where she worked alongside other young volunteers, and is now setting off to university determined to build a career which will benefit others by studying conservation.

She lived with a local host family so she was fully immersed into the community and could gain a better understanding of the challenges people face.

Miss Selman said: “Being a part of a livelihood project we wanted to help those in the community who were in desperate need. We wanted to give these individuals good quality free training in trades that were in high demand among the community to ensure a regular income even after our project ended.”

Upon their return to the UK, all ICS volunteers undertake an Action At Home project, ensuring that their new skills also benefit their local communities - she focussed on litter-picking at a festival.

Miss Selman said: “My ICS placement was a real eye-opener. It has confirmed my plans to go on and work towards a better world hence my decision to study Marine Conservation. Now is such a crucial time for young people to get involved with projects like this or take action against matters they’re passionate about. Young people are the power of change.”

The scheme offers young people the chance to gain valuable new skills while working on projects that make a genuine difference to the people and communities they are supporting.

Felicity Morgan, Director of ICS at VSO, said: “It’s really inspiring to hear about the fantastic work Holly did on placement. We’re incredibly proud that UK aid is supporting young Brits to bring about positive change in some of the world’s poorest communities.”

To find out more about ICS visit