Georgia and Pete Ainsworth embark on a 12-month mission in Africa next month.

A couple from North Devon are leaving their jobs and the property ladder to take on 12 months of charity work in Africa.

Georgia and Pete Ainsworth from George Nympton will set sail for Cameroon next month aboard Africa Mercy, a hospital ship which claims to be the largest of its kind.

The ship, which is kept afloat by the charity Mercy Ships, has a team of doctors, surgeons and crew members from all over the world helping to deliver free medical care with safe and modern facilities.

For Georgia and Pete, the collapse of a house purchase that would have moved them further up the property ladder was the push they needed to down tools and get involved.

Africa MercyAfrica Mercy

“We thought about joining Mercy Ships a year ago, but it went on back burner for six months. It just seemed too big a job,” said 28-year-old Pete.

“Then more recently we decided to put the house on the market thinking we had to go up the property ladder.

“There was a house we loved and it fell through. We thought ‘what do we do?’ and it was the shove we needed.”

Pete joins the Africa Mercy crew as a mechanic responsible for 33 vehicles and forge relationships with local garages, while 25-year-old Georgia will be a journalist on the ship documenting the journeys of patients and their families through treatment.

The Africa Mercy. Pic: Mercy Ships/ Debra Bell.The Africa Mercy. Pic: Mercy Ships/ Debra Bell.

After previously spending time helping refugees and involvement in an outreach program in eastern Europe for those affected by sex trafficking, the opportunity to put their own skills to use was a positive.

“In eastern Europe we were extra hands,” said Georgia.

“It’s very different going on Mercy Ships. We’ll be working 45 hours a week, doing what our skill set is, and being able to use what we have learned in that charitable setting is what does it for me.

“Their work is amazing. The crew fees aren’t cheap but it’s still going and getting bigger and bigger.

“There’s obviously something behind their work and being involved that stands out.”

Positions on the ship are voluntary, and the two are now raising the money required to cover crew fees and vaccinations through crowd-funding before setting off on June 11.

To donate to Georgia and Pete, visit their JustGiving page.