A VOLUNTEER from Boscombe has returned from a "profoundly moving" trip to rebuild a school in Nicaragua, after raising $5,000 for charity.

Sarah Burnhope is a carer for her partner, who has spina bifida, and her daughter, who has serious mental health issues, and is a passionate supporter of the US-based charity Random Acts, which was started by Supernatural actor Misha Collins in response to the Haiti disaster in 2010.

The organisation's Dreams to Acts project aimed to rebuild the San Juam Del Sur free high school in Nicaragua, with the charity offering anyone who raised $5,000 towards the scheme a ticket to the opening ceremony in February.

Sarah sold knitted items she had made online, and auctioned off a collection of signed TV memorabilia to collect the cash, and to fund her travel and accommodation expenses.

During her trip, Sarah helped to build the school's new eco latrine system, and took part in an English class there, as well as visiting a village in the jungle where she met villagers affected by hurricane Nate, and helping to make earth blocks for the new eco stoves and water filters to ensure a safe drinking supply.

She said: "It was wonderful and profound and eye opening. I’m still processing all the ways it has changed me.

"I'm hoping to go back, either with a charity or as an individual who wants to help. I've made a lot of connections over there, with various charities and organisations, so I have options regarding that."

Sarah has already pledged to sign up to the next Random Acts project, as soon as it is announced.

She added: "I would love to become more involved in the charity that's closest to my heart, and I can't thank them enough for the opportunities they have given me. I feel truly blessed.

"I also hope to use some of my new found skills in my local community and have already been approached by some people and local businesses interested in a skill swap and an exchange of ideas on how they can 'give back' to the community as a whole. I'm so excited about the future!"

To find out more about Random Acts, go to randomacts.org