Rachel Raymond My name is Rachel and I am a first-year Psychology student at Loughborough University. I've signed up to the Gorilla Trek with the charity, East African Playgrounds to raise £2,000 to give children in Uganda their childhood through the gift of play. I will be going to Uganda trek to find the last remaining Silverback Mountain Gorilla's, as well as living and working within a local community to build a playground for a school.

As a psychology student, I have studied how play has an incredible benefit on a child's physical, motor and cognitive development and enhances their social and emotional skills. I believe every child should be given the opportunity to play as it not only motivates children to learn, but builds confidence and is linked to language learning. It also gives children a space in which to explore, investigate and make sense of the world, as well as exercise freedom of thought.

East African Playgrounds builds playgrounds across Uganda- including refugee camps- helping to empower some of the world's most disadvantaged children. A playground is a classroom in disguise, children don't know they are learning, they don't feel like they are learning, but really they are taking in the whole world whilst playing with their friends.

I want to give this gift to the children of Uganda, can you please help by donating towards my fundraising.

What a difference your donations make:

£5.11 gives one child their childhood back through access to a safe, fun and child- focussed playground

£21.83 educates a teacher on the importance of play in education and creates a peer network for them to share their learning in.

£73.80 equips a former street child with everything they need to learn the basics of welding, from their own set of workboots through to ear defenders and glasses.

£131 teaches a community of caregivers and educators about the importance of play at home and school, as well as how to maintain their playground.

£197.61 trains a former street child for a month, helping them to become a qualified builder or welder through our apprenticeship scheme.

This summer I will join a team of paid Ugandan professionals and other volunteers to help build a playground in Uganda. Please help me reach my fundraising target by giving whatever you can- any donation will make a difference.

This summer I will also be spending 3 weeks in Uganda- taking on every kind of terrain the world offers (mountains, lakes and jungles), before volunteering on a playground build myself. Of the £2,000 I raise, £300 will go to Uganda Wildlife Authority to help the conservation efforts of the Silverback Mountain Gorilla (who's numbers are decreasing) that I will be visiting. £600 will go on project costs of food, accommodation and travel, most of which will go to the non- project trek company, the Home of Edirisa, who support the communities we will trek through. The remaining £1,100 will go directly to East African Playgrounds to fund their incredible work.

I am also fundraising for my flights, so any money that I raise above the £2,000 can be reimbursed by East African Playground to me (upon request), up to the cost of my flight.

*Please note, if you are a relative of mine you cannot gift aid your donation, according to charity law.

As a thank you for any donations, you will either receive a postcard from Uganda, your name on a sign next to the finished playground or your name on the back of my fundraising t-shirt I will wear in Uganda.

Please donate what you can to give children in Uganda their childhoods.
Rachel Raymond