AN East Lancashire woman will spend three months living with and helping a poverty-stricken South American community.

Helen Wilkinson, of Henthorne Road, Clitheroe, travels to the Achuapa region of Nicaragua on January 28.

Miss Wilkinson, 25, has linked up with charity Raleigh ICS, which sends volunteers to remote communities to help change them for the better.

The former St Wilfrid’s school pupil, who moved to Clitheroe seven years ago, had spent five months working as a lifeguard at a Jewish camp in America.

She said: “I came back in October and I wanted to do something else, but I wanted it to be something worthwhile.

“So I applied through a Government website which sent my details on to Raleigh.

“I am really excited but quite nervous as well as I will be living with a family while I am there with no water or anything like that.

“It will be a big shock as it is completely different to life here.”

Miss Wilkinson said she didn’t yet know what kind of work she would be doing in Nicaragua.

She said: “Until I get there I don’t know what I will be doing but there will be a variety of small projects and one big one.

“When I arrive I will go into the community and find out what they want.

“There could be something big like building a well and then smaller things like helping them to learn English.”

Miss Wilkinson’s trip will be Government-funded and she has to raise money and awareness of the charity ahead of flying out.

In a bid to raise at least £800, which she is on course to smash, she held a number of charity events, including a beetledrive and a pub quiz at The Wagon and Horses in Pimlico Road and a 16-mile Tough Trough walk, from Dunsop Bridge to Lancaster through the Trough of Bowland.