THE Stourbridge News will be providing updates from The Gambia on our website over the next fortnight as 80 students from Ridgewood High School head out to Africa.

Staff and students at the Wollaston school will this year be joined on the annual Project Gambia trip by staff from local primary schools.

The first group are heading out today (Friday, March 31), while the second group will join them on Tuesday, April 4, before the final group make the trip on Friday, April 7.

We will be bringing daily blogs, photos and videos from the students, so their families and friends can keep up-to-date with all the goings on out in the Gambia.

Click here to see our dedicated Project Gambia content.

Assistant headteacher and Project Gambia leader Bev Hodt said: “All of the students and staff are really looking forwards to this year’s trip.

“The first trip will include adults and staff from our local primary schools. This will be a great chance to show them how our school is helping those in need.

“As well as visiting the projects we have been supporting over the past few years, this year we will be focusing on helping to set up a new medical centre in the village of Sintet.”

To help raise funds for Project Gambia, a brave teaching assistant at Quarry Bank Primary School who is heading out to Africa with the group today, has shaved off her locks.

Staff, parents, pupils and friends donated £500 to watch Wendy Quigley – who will be joined by two other colleagues from the school – go under the clippers.

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Wendy said: “I would like to thank all at Quarry Bank Primary School for their support, Justin and Jason Hair Salon for the free shave and Black Country T-shirts.”

This is not the first time the school have raised money for Project Gambia; in December last year the school also raised £1,100 by holding a Christmas Fayre.