A TEENAGER has taken on a challenge of a lifetime to fund a gap-year African adventure.

Frazer Gordon Whittaker, 18, from Blackburn, is due to complete a 127-mile canoe challenge today to pay for a month-long conservation trip to Zimbabwe in November.

The trip will see Frazer volunteer at Bulawayo Wildlife Rescue Sanctuary where he will assist feeding, cleaning and maintaining enclosures of sick injured and orphaned animals. He has spent from 7.30am until 6pm everyday since Monday, rowing along the Leeds Liverpool canal from his home in Feniscowles to Preston and back.

The former St Wilfrid’s student has completed the trip there and back four times a day to try and clock up the 127 miles, equivalent to the full length of the canal. Frazer has just received his A-level results. He is hoping the trip will boost his CV to help him fulfill his dream of going to Nottingham University to study veterinary medicine.

He said he came up with the idea after rowing on the canal in a canoe with his family. He said: “I have raised £1,300 already but need to raise another £1,200 to fund the trip.

“I wanted to do something different and the idea just came to me to do a sponsored canoe challenge, because I canoe on the canal with my family quite a lot. I wanted to complete the length of the Leeds Liverpool canal but I was struggling to find accommodation so I decided to do a loop from home to Preston and back so I could stay at home. So far the hardest thing is the weather.

“On Tuesday it was really windy which meant that I was fighting against the wind all day.”