AN alternative therapist is travelling to Peru to work with abandoned and special needs children after spotting an advert in the Big Issue magazine.

Caroline Beevers, 39, of Bobmore Lane, Marlow, is taking a four-month sabbatical to travel to the heart of the Andes near Cuzco to give the Eastern healing treatments of reiki and reflexology to the youngsters.

She was inspired to go after buying a copy of the Big Issue from a seller outside Sainsbury's in Marlow High Street.

She said: "In it there was an advert in the back saying volunteers needed'.

"It just struck me that it was something I could do to make a difference to be able to do healing with people who really need it and who could never afford it.

"Until that moment I had never even thought about going to South America.

"It's weird. It's kind of just fallen into my lap which makes me think it is right."

Caroline will depart for Peru on September 13 to work for the charity Kiya Survivors, which helps rehabilitate vulnerable children by providing them with a home, an education, and the social and medical care they need.

The charity already uses music and speech therapy, physiotherapy and psychology to help rehabilitate the youngsters.

She said: "The charity takes on people to do all sorts of work and they said this would great for the kids because they never get that kind of positive touch.

"Many of those born disabled in South America are viewed as a curse to the family and are often left abandoned, neglected or abused."

This is the first time Caroline has braved long-haul travel since catching dengue fever a disease spread by mosquitoes whilst abroad in her early 20s.

She said: "I had to be hospitalised and for a long time I just could not bear getting that again.

"But now I am so excited I have moments when I cannot sleep at night.

"The more I look into it the more I think it's a great way to make a difference."

Caroline, who works from home, has already raised £2,500 towards the cost of her trip by running monthly clinics in Chesterton, near Bicester, with a team of therapists.

She said: "Six people would come to the clinic for the day to get a massage, have a sauna and enjoy some yoga, reflexology and reiki, and an organic lunch.

"People have loved it, it's been a really great thing to do."

She now needs to raise another £1,500 to make the trip possible but is determining to reach her goal.

To sponsor Caroline or to find out more about her trip email