A YOUNG family are selling their beloved campervan to fund a new life on one of the most remote islands owned by Britain.

James Fantom, 30, Jess Wilson, 32, and their toddler son Noah, have left their rented home in Okehampton to move into their VW camper until they catch a flight to live a new life in the middle of the South Atlantic.

They are flying off to St Helena, part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha which is 1,200 miles west of Africa and 2,500 miles east of South America.

They hope to auction the VWT4 customised van for a reserve price of £15,000 before they leave which will help pay for life on the tiny island (ten by five miles) which is expensive because of its remoteness, and limited exports of coffee and fish.

James, who has origins on island, his mother was born there, is giving up his job managing invasive species at SW Lakes for a similar job on St Helena, He said: “It’s a big step for us, but we are adventurous as a family and as individuals. It’s a shame we have to sell the van because we’ve had some great holidays in her and she will be earning her keep up to the end before we leave England. She’s been lovingly converted inside with all the modcons and we hope she will go to give someone else the freedom it’s given us.

“We chose a prize draw a a way of maximising the number of people having the chance to experience the joys of traveling in a van like we did. The money that we raise will go towards recovering the money we spent converting it and other costs of moving. Anything raised over our target will be split between Okehampton Community Kitchen, which provides food for those in need, and Creative St. Helena, a charity that does arts and music for people of all ages on St. Helena.”

“The trouble is that St Helena is a long way from anywhere and although that is part of the attraction, it also means it’s expensive to move there and live there. Shipping costs are high it takes a while to get there. also connectivity is poor and little except coffee and fish is produced.”

James’ skills are needed because invasive species have displaced the native plants and he will be working on the restoration of the natural flora and fauna and pasture.

Jess said: “There’s plenty to like about St Helena, big open spaces which will be good for Noah, coffee plantations, a relaxed lifestyle, and a focus on community and family, and grandparents on James’ side of the family. But I will be effectively leaving my family behind and depriving them of seeing Noah. But it’s not for ever.” Deadline for van bids is Wednesday August 9 on crowdfunder: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/vw-t4-campervan-prize-draw