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On a journey . . . Anna Lawrence-Rutherford is working towards funding her trip to Bali to volunteer at a turtle conservation project. PHOTO: GUS PATTERSON

Sometimes the best thing you can do to help yourself is to help others.

Four months ago, Anna Lawrence-Rutherford (22) woke up in a hospital bed after an attempted suicide.

“I was unconscious for three days and the doctors thought my chances of survival were very slim,” Mrs Lawrence-Rutherford said.

“Amazingly, I pulled through and on the fourth day I had a new outlook on life and knew I had found my path – volunteering.

“I literally Googled ‘trying to find my place in the world, where should I volunteer?’.

“Up popped a website, I read a few reviews, filled out the form and I was booked.”

The programme Mrs Lawrence-Rutherford will participate in is the Turtle Conservation Project in Bali run by the International Volunteer HQ.

The project involves cleaning turtles, assisting in surgery and rehabilitation, cleaning the ocean of plastics and monitoring the turtles.

“Nearly every species of sea turtle are endangered. Much of this is due to plastics in the ocean, turtles being caught in fishing nets and their environments becoming unstable.

“I figure the turtles need my help, and I need the turtles,” she said.

Mrs Lawrence-Rutherford also has an aggressive form of multiple sclerosis which has left her blind in one eye and partially sighted in the other.

“I will be in Bali for three months. It will be testing considering my health issues but I am excited to push myself and make a difference.”

A regular swimmer at Kakanui, Mrs Lawrence-Rutherford is looking forward to the warm ocean temperatures in Bali.

At present, she is fundraising for her trip by working two jobs and selling her own artwork.

“It is quite expensive to volunteer, you have to pay for your programme fees, flights, insurance and visas.

“I am currently $3500 off my mark, but I am working to close that gap.

“I sold most of my belongings at a garage sale – I figure I don’t need them, I need turtles.”

Mrs Lawrence-Rutherford will leave for Bali in August.

To donate towards her mission, visit givealittle.co.nz/cause/annas-turtle-conservation or facebook.com/toni.lawrence.79.

short-term arrangements were, he said.

‘‘I have no illusions how demanding and tough it will be to provide that sort of expert care facility but nothing less than that is required in a civilised community.’’

Where to get help:

Lifeline: 0800-543-354 or (09) 522-2999
Suicide Prevention Helpline: 0508-828-865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
Youthline: 0800-376-633 or free text 234
Samaritans: 0800-726-666

If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.