THEY are off on what will be a life-changing school trip.

Students from Sholing Technology College have set off on an 8,000-mile journey to the Philippines to help projects that support some of the poorest communities in the world.

The Southampton college has been organising trips to Manila since 2010, working with the Southampton-based charity the Philippine Community Fund (PCF).

The charity provides education, healthcare and feeding programmes for children and welfare and employment for families who live in squalid conditions on the dumpsites of Manila. This year’s trip is particularly significant as it is the first following typhoon Haiyan, which devastated parts of the country.

The team of 27 students and eight staff have spent 18 months raising funds for the trip, through bag-packing at supermarkets, fashion shows and charity events.