A TEENAGE bell ringer and scout has raised £3,800 to fund a once-in-a-lifetime trip abroad and had enough left over to help her church maintain its centuries old bells.

When 17-year-old Megan Cook isn’t ringing the bells at All Saints Church in Darfield, she is an explorer scout, and the concert she organised last weekend raised money to fund both of her main passions.

The concert at the church on Saturday, which featured music from Cawthorne Brass Band, was Megan’s last push to raise funds for a trip to West Virginia where she will take part in the World Scout Jamboree alongside 40 other young people from the country and as many as 50,000 from around the world.

But she also wanted to give some money to the church to allow it to maintain the bells, which date back to the 15th century.

“We’ve done lots of different fund-raising events starting back in June,” said mum Rachel, 45, of Church View, Darfield.

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“She was way ahead of where she needed to be so wanted to give something back to the church. They have really been behind her.”

The concert raised £300, which was split equally between Megan’s trip fund and the church, which needs £1,000 to make repairs to its bells.

Megan has been involved with both for most of her life, with her dad Peter and sister Lauren also bell ringers and both parents scout leaders.

Sixth-form college student Megan is one of nine ringers at Darfield All Saints Church and practises every Thursday.

“It’s an unusual hobby,” she said.

“I started primary school ringing hand bells and I have always been curious about how they work.

“It’s just an hour and half a week where I don’t have to think about A levels and don’t have to talk about anything. You can have a bit of fun with it.”

Megan has been raising funds for the jamboree since January, including organising a ‘ring and ride’, where she cycled 17 miles visiting various churches along the way, car boot sales and even ringing bells for weddings.