Shirebrook students ready for African charity mission

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Pupils from two Shirebrook schools are gearing up travel across the world to help those in need in Africa.

Seven students from Shirebrook Academy and three from Stubbin Wood School are joining forces with three other schools in the Bolsover to visit Namibia to help build a play ground for youngsters at a residential school.

The 10-day trip has been organised in partnership with Bolsover District Council and the NHS Hardwick Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and will also include pupils from Frederick Gent School in South Normanton, The Bolsover School and Heritage High School in Clowne.

For a week of the trip, they will spend their time helping the school and building the jungle gym, and the remaining three days will spent trekking through the desert.

Demi Bispham (15), who is one of the Shirebrook pupils who were chosen for the trip, said: “I always wanted to go but it’s not your typical holiday so to get the chance to visit and change some children’s lives too is amazing,” she said.

“We’ve been fundraising and looking forward to it for so long now, but it’s come round really quickly.

“I can’t wait to get going now; I just want to be on the way.”

The troop of 30 youngsters and staff members will travel to Heathrow Airport, catching a flight to Johannesburg, before flying to Windhoek, the Namibian capital city, to get on a coach to the school.

Some of the cost of the trip was subsidised by the district council, but each youngster had to raise £1,500 to be able to go to Africa.

At Stubbin Wood School, they held a fun day on the school fields with a barbecue and students got the chance, for a donation, to throw wet sponges at Mr Floyd, the head teacher.

Jason Packwood (14), from Stubbin Wood, said: “It was a lot of fun to get to throw wet sponges at Mr Floyd. It’s not something you can do all the time.

“We’ve done lots of things to raise the money to be able to go and it’s been fun. I can’t wait to go now.

“It’s the first time we’ve been on a plane so it’s really exciting – and a bit scary – but we can’t wait.”