Teenager set to work with cheetahs in Africa is first 2011 Kids Are Alright Challenge nominee

A DELIGHTED Fenland teenager – who will realise a lifelong dream this summer by working with cheetahs in Africa – has become the first nominee for the 2011 Kids Are Alright Challenge.

Emma Butler, 17, from Wimblington, will travel to Namibia to work with the big cats at a wildlife sanctuary.

She has raised around �800 towards the �2,500 cost of her trip by holding a fete at the village’s Thomas Eaton Primary School and by a hosting a further event, which saw her stepdad and his friend have their legs waxed to boost funds for the cause.

“I’ve always wanted to work with cheetahs so I’ll definitely be realising a lifelong dream,” said Emma, whose trip is part of the work experience section of her BTEC in Animal Management at the College of West Anglia’s Wisbech campus.

“I’m really excited about the trip but of course I’m a bit nervous. It’s such a long way from home and it’s the first time I’ve ever been to Africa or been so close to the cheetahs.

“I was so surprised at the amount I’ve raised and I can’t thank my family, and those who donated, enough for their help.”

Emma, who has ambitions of working in a zoo when she finishes her course, has also been teaching martial arts to youngsters across Fenland for almost three years.

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Although her flight tickets and accommodation have already been paid for, she is aiming to raise further funds to help cover the costs of working with the animals. If you would like to donate, call her on 07766 545522.

As the first nomination for this year’s Kids Are Alright Challenge, Emma will receive a certificate of commendation. She will also be entered into the grand final of the competition, set to be held in July.

“It’s really nice to be nominated,” said Emma. “I like to get involved and help out where I can in the community.”

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