A HIGH Legh student returned to Cheshire ‘humbled and inspired’ after spending eight days in one of the world’s poorest countries.

Hattie Dufton was part of a 12-strong cohort from Withington Girls’ School who recently embarked on a voluntary expedition to the Gambian village of Illiasa.

The students made a £5,000 donation to the village nursery and towards the purchase of a milling machine for the community.

Hattie, who hopes to study Geography at university, said: “The people were extremely friendly and it was lovely to see how much the school and the town of Illiasa appreciated the money we had raised.”

As well as donating funds, the pupils provided practical support on the ground.

The Withington team painted part of the Mamba Tamba Nursery and helped the young pupils with lessons, craft-making and games.

“Seeing children so desperate to learn and being grateful for their chance to attend school, an opportunity they may not have had without donations, made us all appreciate the opportunities we have in England,” added the sixth form student.

“It was an experience I will value for a lifetime.”