My name is Lucy Ryan i am a disabled Wildlife Conservation BSc Student living in Kent.
I am currently trying to raise awareness of my story and funds to allow me to complete a expedition to Madagascar and a scientific research project focusing on an Endangered Lemur Species.
Here is the Link: https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/lucy-ryan-lemurs
I have had a lot of set backs with this project so far. Initially i found it extremely difficult to find a placement due to my disability with many of the places i approached very unaccepting. A fact which is often not considered. I sent out over 200 emails, being as qualified as anyone else in my position however after explaining my situation the number of places available soon diminished. After finding the place i am now going to in early September 2015, i filled out all the paperwork with my university however in march this year i was told it could not go ahead. Universities in the UK require organisations taking placement students to have both public liability insurance and employees liability insurance. Whilst widely available in the UK and actually required by all companies by law, in countries such as Madagascar and further afield it is either unavailable, hard to come by or not trust worthy.
As a result i decided to continue with my placement, as a gap year instead. The placement will remain the same as it always was, however the university will have no liability. Instead i will have to by my own comprehensive travel insurance. This by itself is fine, whilst the insurance is expensive it is nothing compared to the inability to complete the placement i have been thinking about for over a year.
Unfortunately as the placement is now separate of the University, i am no longer entitled to the Student finance England funding i would have received had i continued through my university. Funding i was relying upon, to buy the equipment i needed for my project, to help with the costs of flights and accommodation for the 11 months i will be away.
Scheduled to leave on the 1st of September i am now aiming to raise the funds to allow me to continue with the placement, however despite sharing my story as much as i can so far i have raised a total of £670. I would really appreciate if you could share my story, with staff or through social media and help me get out to Madagascar this September and gain vital experience for my future career.