Here’s a story for everyone who thinks teenagers are lazy, apathetic and lacking in motivation. Four young people from Plymouth are training for a 43-mile charity hike that they have planned, organised and prepared for themselves. And it’s all in aid of local conservation charity Living Coasts.

Jake Wills, who is 17 and studying at Stoke Damerell Community College in Plymouth, is the leader of the quartet: “I’ve always been passionate about the coastline. I wanted to donate to a charity that supports conservation and the coast and instantly thought of Living Coasts.”

Jake and his friends - Mark Corben, Andre Amaral and Elek Churella - plan to walk 43 hard miles along the South West Coast Path, setting off from Plymouth on Monday 29th May and getting to Living Coasts in Torquay on Thursday 1st June.

The trek, part of their Silver Duke of Edinburgh award, should take four days during the May half term. They will be camping along the way. Jake: “We will be carrying back-packs weighing approximately 20 kilos and will be camping. We will be doing this whatever weather is thrown at us!”

The boys are busy getting in shape for the challenge. “We are all going to the gym and will be doing some training on Dartmoor.”

They will finish at Living Coasts, the coastal zoo and aquarium on Torquay’s harbour-side, where they hope to hand over the money they’ve raised. They have set themselves a target of £500; the cash will go towards conservation. The charity has set up a donation page and is giving the boys social media coverage. Jenny Paton, Fundraising Manager for Living Coasts, said: “They are a wonderful, inspiring bunch of lads, a real credit to their school and their families!”

All four attend Stoke Damerel Community College, an academy school and maths and computing college in Plymouth. They have very clear ideas of the careers they want to pursue.

Mark is studying 3D design, IT and sport, and wants to be a product designer. Andre is taking 3D design, art and media and wants to be a mechanical or future innovative engineer. Jake is also studying 3D design, plus sport and photography. He wants to be an underwater photographer. Elek is taking physics, further maths and A-level maths – he wants to be a civil or nuclear engineer. Elek is originally from the USA and came to the region from Ohio only about 18 months ago.

To sponsor the team, go to:

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