A young Barnoldswick woman is hoping to spend six weeks helping disadvantaged children on the streets of Ecuador.

Vicki Hartley, of Gisburn Road, is raising money for a summer trip that will allow her to work with young offenders who are part of the Street Kids Project in Quito, Ecuador.

Twenty-year-old Vicki, who is studying forensic psychology and criminal justice at Liverpool University, is at the halfway mark of raising the £2,500 needed for her to fly to the South American country as part of a project organised by Travellers Worldwide.

The main objective of the project is to help people in desperate situations by giving them a safe environment to eat, shower, relax, meet peers, make friends and learn new skills.

The youths are homeless, live in extreme poverty and are immersed in a life of crime involving theft and substance misuse.

“Many of these children will be outcasts from society who just need a bit of help,” said Vicki.

“I’d love to be a part of something that gets them back on the straight and narrow.”

While in Quito, Vicki will help the youngsters with their homework, prepare activities for them and visit local schools. She will also help in a carpentry workshop.

She said: “I am really excited at the thought of helping with this project and hope that I will return feeling as though I have made a valuable contribution to helping these disadvantaged children.

“At the same time I am pretty apprehensive and nervous because I know that the conditions in Quito are vastly different to here in the UK and there will be some huge cultural differences. But I need to push myself out of my own comfort zone.”

The organisation that runs the street project is non profit and so Vicki is covering the cost of the trip herself and so far has held various fundraisers, including car boot sales and a quiz night. Her next fund- raising event is a race night at the Rolls-Royce Leisure Club, in Barnoldswick, on Saturday, April 6, at 7pm.

Tickets for the event, which will be held in the Merlin Suite, cost £3 or £5 and individuals or companies can also sponsor the races.

For tickets or more information, contact Vicki on 07534602810 or email vhhartley@hotmail.co.uk.