After raising the £75,000 needed to fund the trip, the Cheshire group flew from Manchester to Kathmandu on 24 October and trekked on foot through the Himalayas, to get to the village of Thulodhunga, where a school had already been built by local people.
However, after the group converted the construction to brick the new school is a safe and clean learning environment which doesn’t compare to the tents they have previously used following the earthquake six months previously.
Working with charity Classrooms in the Clouds the cadets spent two weeks in Nepal where they set to painting walls, making steps, cleaning windows and floors and putting up notice boards before designing and painting a mural on the side of the building, with their names on it.
Cheshire’s Chief Fire Cadet Elaine Gnyp said: “This was a life-changing opportunity for us all but more importantly we got to help children in Nepal to achieve a better life and get an education.
“Trekking up and down a mountain to get to the village and sleeping in a tent for a week in freezing cold temperatures wasn’t too good, but seeing the children’s faces when we handed over the new school made it all worthwhile. I would go back tomorrow in a flash if I could.”
During their time in Nepal the group spent time with the villagers and learnt about a different culture and planted a tree with the local children. They ate Yak meat and cheese with the locals and also visited a stupa which is a Buddhist religious monument where people go to meditate.
Head of Prevention at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, Nick Evans accompanied the group to Nepal and added: “I have never been more proud. The Cheshire Fire Cadets conquered fears and walked until they couldn’t walk any more to get to this village. The sheer determination they had from start to finish to fulfil this project has amazed me.
“This trip will hold many special memories for us all but more importantly it has given children of Nepal a much brighter future through education and set all our lives on a different path than the one we came here on.”
The full list of fire cadets and leaders who went to Nepal was:
Elaine Gnyp - Sandbach Fire Cadet
Lois Beeson - Knutsford Fire Cadet
Jessica Lee - Holmes Chapel Fire Cadet
Jessica Leighton - Holmes Chapel Fire Cadet
Ryan Lysycia - Holmes Chapel Fire Cadet
Lydia Stanley-Dale - Holmes Chapel Fire Cadet
Louis Greenwood - Winsford Fire Cadet
Hannah Wenborn - Winsford Fire Cadet
Imogen Graffham - Winsford Fire Cadet
Poppy Noden - Birchwood Fire Cadet
Alyx James - Crewe Fire Cadet
Daniel Simpson - Widnes Fire Cadet
Sam Robinson - Widnes Fire Cadet
Declan Hodgson - Runcorn Fire Cadet
Bethany Heeley - Runcorn Fire Cadet
Vicky Wrest - Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service Fire Cadet Manager
Jen Regan - Cadet Leader at Homes Chapel and Sandbach
Ben Bradbury - Former Cadet Leader at Sandbach and Cadet Administrator
Keith Roberts. Cadet Leader at Widnes
Tony Taylor - Cadet Leader at Macclesfield and Knutsford
Robyn Taylor - Cadet Leader at Wilmslow and Knutsford
Trisha Healy - Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service. The Prince’s Trust Assistant Programme Manager at Ellesmere Port
John Walkey - Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service The Prince’s Trust Programme Manager Nick Evans - Youth and Community Cohesion Manager for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service