THE Year of the Tiger is certainly one Matthew Bould won't forget - for this summer he is travelling to China for a unique expedition.

Matthew, 26, will be part of a multi-national team of 130 young people from countries as far as afield as Argentina and Malaysia who will meet for the first time in Beijing in July.

From there they will be split into groups and go into remote areas of north east China to start a number of community projects.

The two-month expedition has been organised by the British youth development charity Raleigh International and its partner, the Chinese Youth Development Foundation, and sponsored by Inchscape.

Challenges the youngsters will be taking part in include helping to build three new primary schools and teaching English to pupils and staff.

Matthew, of Church Street, Poulton, could also find himself enlarging a nature reserve which houses the endangered Milu deer, building a viewing platform for scientists to study them as well as assisting with the building of a bridge in a bird reserve.

And if this wasn't enough, in his spare time he will be sleeping under the stars, cooking over a campfire and trekking in the unexplored mountainous regions of the Shangdong province.

"I'm really looking forward to the challenge," he said.

"I know it's going to be tough and will certainly be no holiday.

"As well as getting involved in worthwhile project work and making friends with people from totally different cultures and nationalities, I'll be learning communication, teamwork and leadership skills.

"They are skills I'll certainly be putting to good use on my return to the UK after the expedition."

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