Polly volunteers to help fight flooding in Bangladesh

A CHARITY volunteer is set to take part in a mercy trip to flood-prone Bangladesh. Polly Williamson, from Hartlepool, raised £800 in just six weeks so she could head to the subcontinent to work with local communities.

pollyThe 21-year-old recently graduated from York St John University with a degree in theology and will now spend 10 weeks volunteering in the country which has always sparked her interest.

McDonald’s worker Polly said: “When I applied you could give a preference and I liked the idea of Bangladesh, because I learned about the flooding there during geography in school.”

Bangladesh is prone to flooding due to its low lying nature and the many river tributaries that run into the Bay of Bengal.

Helping the locals cope with future floods will form a big part of Polly and her fellow volunteers’ work, including building floating vegetable gardens.

“There are a few different projects we will be working on in the area, like ways the communities can be ready for floods and educating them about why they happen,” she said.

“The floods are not going to stop, they are going to get worse.”

Polly will spend a week in Dhaka getting to know about the International Citizen Service project and meeting her companions, before heading to north east Bangladesh.

She was due to leave this weekend, but her departure has been delayed for a week due to political unrest in the capital.

As part of her fundraising, Polly was allowed to hold a charity day at the McDonald’s she works at in Middleton Grange Shopping Centre.

The day, which featured face painting and a cake sale, raised £220 and Polly said she is “eternally grateful” for the help of her colleagues.

Polly also completed a sponsored walk up the 1,049ft-high Roseberry Topping in the North York Moors.

She said: “I went up and down three times, my legs were shaking by the end.”

This is not Polly’s first time volunteering abroad as she has already spent time in The Gambia in 2009 and South Korea in 2012.