Mum and son go on a volunteering trip

Jacqui with the Book Bus in Zambia.
Jacqui with the Book Bus in Zambia.

A borough youngster and his mum have gone on a trip of a lifetime to volunteer on the Book Bus in Zambia.

Ten-year-old Oliver Croskery, a pupil at Valley Gardens Middle School, and his detective sergeant mum Jacqui, travelled to Zambia where they worked on the Book Bus helping to provide library facilities and volunteer story-tellers.

Jacqui said: “Both Oliver and I love reading and this is a way to give something back.

“We are very lucky in the UK to have the opportunity of a good education.

“These children are less fortunate and many who are in their teens have never been to school, and if we can help to improve their lives, one book at a time, then we will.”

“I was overwhelmed with emotion on the very first day as 200 children ran after ‘Charlie the Book Bus’ singing excitedly. They clearly get so much out of what the volunteers provide. I feel so proud of what we did.

“I would like to specifically thank all of my Northumbria Police colleagues for buying cakes on ‘Cake Friday’ for the last four years, The Parks Judo Club and Percy Park Rugby Club for allowing us to do a Tuck Shop, Marine Park First School for a non-uniform day; Jen Stevens and The Hiccups for playing at our ‘Charity Bash’, and Tyne North Training, Wallsend and Barclays Bank who both gave sizeable donations towards the charity.”

Oliver said: “I loved every minute of this trip and helping children of all ages in schools in Zambia. It made me really think about what is important in life.”