A lifelong ambition to work with animals in Africa is about to come true for a young woman from Tadcaster.
Rebecca Hawkins, 20, will fly to Zambia in the New Year with African Impact to work as a volunteer with the Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Orphan Care Project.
And Becky, who will play Snow White with Tadcaster Theatre Company later this month, will work with African Lion and Environmental Research Trust (ALERT), in ground-breaking lion conservation.
The former Tadcaster Grammar School student, is excited about fulfilling her dream and hopes it will lead to a permanent job in Africa.
She said: “I cannot believe I am going. It hasn’t really sunk in yet.
“I love chimpanzees and I am so excited but I couldn’t have done this without my Mum and Dad. I owe them a massive thank you.”
Becky will spend one month with each project but she is also looking forward to all the extra adventures on offer.
“I have the opportunity to go bungee jumping off Victoria Falls and kayaking – how amazing is all this – it is all a dream come true!”
Before Becky embarks upon this once in a lifetime experience, she has another important role to fulfil with animals of a different kind, surrounded by squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, ladybirds and other woodland creatures on stage in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
“Being a member of Tadcaster Theatre Company has helped enormously with my confidence and enabled me to communicate with people of all ages,” said Becky.
“As a volunteer in Africa I will be mixing with the local communities there and am hoping to involve the children in drama and singing.”
Danny Middleton, Destination Manager with African Impact said will be suited to the adventure. “Her passion for wildlife certainly comes across strongly and this type of project is perfect for someone with that passion,” he said.
“Our projects are certainly a two-way thing – the positive impact that we make in protecting Africa’s wildlife and offering education to underprivileged communities can also be a life-changing experience for volunteers like Rebecca. I have no doubt she will make a real difference.”
Becky will be treading the boards as Snow White, at the Riley-Smith Hall from Tuesday to Saturday 21-25 November.
Tickets are available at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/tadcastertheatrecompany or phone 07484 305436.