Heckingham school teenager prepares for gruelling BBC documentary challenge

A teenager from a Norfolk school is to take part in a once in a lifetime trek across Tanzania after securing a place on a BBC documentary.

Robbie Kilgallon, of Avocet House School, in Heckingham, near Loddon, will be flown to eastern Africa before taking on the nine-day trek across the Great Rift Valley.

Robbie, 15, is one of 10 teenagers who will be taking part in the challenge as they are guided by members of the Maasai tribe across Mount Longido and the Crater Highlands and Ngorongoro Crater for the show The Hottest Classroom On Earth.

The documentary will follow the group, who are all from schools that are part of the Engage In Their Future network – a charity supporting the education of students with some social emotional and behavioural difficulties.

Pupils at the schools across the country were invited to initially apply before shortlisted candidates travelled to the Brecon Beacons, in Wales, for a gruelling final challenge that included karate and climbing three peaks.

Although Robbie, who has been boarding at Avocet House for two years, said he was proud of how he did in the challenge, he admitted that he almost did not apply in time.

He said: 'It came down to the last day and I thought actually this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I really would like to do it.'

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Andy Robinson, deputy care manager at Avocet House, accompanied Robbie on the weekend challenge and will be going to Tanzania with him.

He said: 'Candidates had to demonstrate qualities of personal determination and a team ethic. Robbie was fantastic and it did not surprise me in the least that he got selected.'

Robbie, who hopes to be an electrician in the future, has never been on a plane before and said he was very excited about the trip.

Although he now must turn his attentions to raising at least �2,000 to fund his part of the trip.

richard.wood@archant.co.uk

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