A COLLEGE student has set herself the challenge of raising thousands of pounds to fund a year of charity work in the Dominican Republic.

Lucy Baker, from Neasham, near Darlington, hopes that completing an exhausting coast to coast bike ride can help her achieve her aim.

The 17-year-old has decided to take a year out from her studies to volunteer with a charity organisation based in the under-developed Caribbean nation.

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The avid cyclist will be working with British/American Methodist organisation COPA, supporting two communities in the north of the island nation, where she hopes to help the charity in providing education and healthcare to local citizens.

Despite having various other commitments, including studying for her A-Levels and working part time at Rockliffe Hall, Lucy has managed to find enough time to train for her intimidating 140-mile bike ride that will take her and four friends from Whitehaven to Tynemouth over the course of three days.

Lucy said: “Training was tough to start with, but I’m now feeling ready.” 

As well as her gruelling bike ride Lucy is also planning to raise money through a Valentine themed stall and by organising a tipi party – for which tickets are available.

If you feel able to contribute towards Lucy’s fundraising target, please visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/LucyJulietBaker or contact Lucy via e-mail on baker.lucy14@yahoo.com