A WIMBORNE charity is looking to award a brave child a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Sumatra.

Adventure Aid UK supports disadvantaged children on the island, as well as India, Nepal, Mauritius and Tanzania.

Founder Ashley Platen-Mills is inviting nominations for the charity’s Courage Award, which was created to reward a local child who has shown courage in the face of adversity.

Despite suffering a large fraud, as reported in December 2017, the charity has received donations and used other funds to clear nearly all the debt so it can run the award again. A previous winner suffered sexual abuse but bravely managed to overcome the experience. Other past nominees have included children with severe disabilities or life-threatening conditions, those who have suffered bullying, and others who have had to look after parents.

“Our main aim is to support children overseas through various welfare and education projects and working in sensitive issues like drugs, trafficking and sexual abuse, but if in the process we can help a local child and provide them with a unique adventure then this too is a very worthwhile cause,” Ashley said.

The unique trip to Sumatra will take place in April 2019 and will see the lucky winner visit Lake Toba and go on a day trek into the jungle to see orangutans.

Voting is due to take place at the end of October, with the winner of the award announced on December 20.

Adventure Aid UK supports a project that provides funding

for life-changing operations for children with a cleft lip or


Ashley said: “The last winner from 2016 was a young person who was sexually abused and they joined us in Sumatra with their mother. I would like to believe it was of benefit, and we are very mindful and prepared to deal with any anxiety a trip like this can cause, even though it is a unique adventure and reward for the child.”

To nominate a child for the Courage Award, email Ashley their story at ashley@adventureaid.org.uk.

Nominees will be kept anonymous during the voting process.

Ashley single-handedly manages Adventure Aid, which was established in 2010.

He started Adventure Aid following a fundraising journey through 16 countries in 1995.

Among the projects Adventure Aid has helped fund are a new orphanage in India and educational resources for children at remote schools in the Helambu region of Nepal.