The Shreddies team is full of lovely people, it's what makes working here so great. And so we thought we would take the time to introduce you to our lovely production assistant Rach.
When Rach isn't making fart filtering underwear she is raising money and awareness for lots of people less fortunate than herself.
Over the past year she has been doing some really amazing work to help the people of Nepal rebuild their communities after the awful earthquake in April 2015. Rach is currently planning her next trip and we took the chance to catch up with her to see how we can help such an amazing cause!
What inspired you to go out to Nepal?
I've been doing things for charity for the last 5 years, from 5k runs dressed as a flamingo to a 10,000ft sky drive! I love the build up to the event, the excitement of fundraising and the training for the day, but once I've completed the challenge I always felt lost. In March 2015 I had a cancer scare and with hospital trips and test running over two months, it really makes you ask yourself 'what do I want to do with my time here?'. I was lucky enough to get the all clear and with that I decided I would do something valuable and something that makes me happy...helping others where I can. After seeing the devastation of the earthquake I decided on Nepal, once my flights were booked I finally felt like I had a purpose.
What are the highlights and lowlights of your previous trips?
Lowlights - for the first 2 weeks I felt very, very alone. Never having done anything on my own before Nepal was quite a big step for me. (This is the girl who usually isn't trusted to handle her own passport!) It took me a few weeks to really start to feel comfortable and there were many days where I questioned if I could handle 6 weeks, I remember one night I sat in my homestay room and just cried. The next day I met someone who i could finally have a conversation with and from that moment so many interesting people crossed my path who I am now lucky enough to count as close friends. Because of these people I extended my time from 6 weeks to 12 and many of my most memorable adventures would not have happened had it not been for them.
Highlights - The little things! Seeing a child's face in amazement as you hand them a bouncy ball to keep. The tough kids at the children's home taking my hand for the first time. Shop keepers learning my name and smiling everyday as I trot past. The Tibetan ladies crossing the road to hug me when I had a bad day. Plus of course a few bigger things - providing relief packages to 65 families affected by the earthquake and delivering presents on Christmas morning to the street kids.
What are your aims for your upcoming trip?
In November this year me and the team (Jordane Schönfelder, Janet Bass and Mark Smith) will be heading back to Nepal in hopes to help two villages heavily affected by last year's earthquake. Both villages are made up of predominantly lower caste people that have minimum access to employment opportunities and therefore little or no income. With your help we would like to build a future for these people. Our aim is to provide each family with a female goat and both villages with communal male goats. By supporting this project you will be helping to provide them with a long lasting income. Therefore improving the standard of living and making education more attainable for the children of these villages.
What was it like spending so much time away from family, friends and work?
Spending time away from my family and friends was one of the hardest challenges. With my step mother and mother both battling serious illnesses, time away from home is a risk. But the support from everyone was so overwhelming I was sure I was making the right decision, every single person went above and beyond to help me and make this dream become reality. The Shreddies team showed me nothing but support from the moment I booked my flight. It's a wonderful place to work and somewhere I am very happy, so a lot of my final decision was based around work - basically if I didn't get the time off I wasn't prepared to lose this job for it. I was over the moon when I got the go ahead! I kept in contact with the Shreddies team whilst away and on truly tough days I would sit and read the words of encouragement from friends, family and colleagues to give me the push I needed to believe in myself and what I wanted to achieve.
What can we do to help raise money and awareness?
Spread the word! The best way to support is to get what we're doing out there. Any donation big or small makes a huge difference, I mean the cost of a blanket that fits a whole family is £6 - so everything helps! Alternatively - VISIT NEPAL! It's safe to travel and one of the most amazing destinations. The people are some of the kindest I believe this world has to offer.
To support Rachel and the team, head over to their Go Fund Me page! Any donation is greatly appreciated but if you would like to buy a goat for a family the cost is £40 and you can even name it yourself! Also, you can keep up with all the news and updates over on their Instagram!
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