A retired teacher has had a new school-wing in Zambia named after her in tribute to her work as a dedicated volunteer for a Mansfield-based charity.
Joan Green, 73, of Church Warsop, has been helping the National Police Aid Convoys (NPAC) distribute humanitarian aid to Africa and Albania for the last 11 years.
And on her latest, and seventh, visit to Zambia this summer, she was asked to cut the ribbon at the official opening ceremony of a new three-classroom block at the 900-pupil Kaseba School in Kafue which has been funded by NPAC.
“It is a great honour to have the block named after me,” said Joan, who enjoyed a 37-year career at schools in Mansfield Woodhouse, Shirebrook and Calow, where she retired in 2003 as deputy head.
“I couldn’t believe it when I was first told. I just laughed, and I am sure the kids don’t realise who this Joan Green woman is.
“But I first met the grown-ups there in 2010, and it is always nice to go back and see how these schools are improving.
“The new wing contains a library, a computer room, a room for home economics and a head teacher’s room.”
Joan first became involved with the NPAC charity in 2007 after hearing a talk from one of its members at The Workhouse museum in Southwell, where she was also a volunteer. She realised she lived only half-a-mile from an NPAC warehouse in Meden Vale, and has been offering her services ever since.
She has worked tirelessly, helping to sort, check and pack books and school equipment, donated by the public, and oversee their dispatch. She is now one of the charity’s longest-serving volunteers and makes annual two-week trips to Zambia, paying all her own expenses.
NPAC chairman David Scott described the naming of the wing after Joan as “a very fitting tribute” to her commitment. He said: “The huge amount of school books, educational toys and equipment we are fortunate to be given for Africa is daunting. But Joan commits many hours to checking its quality and organising its packing to where it will be best utilised.
“She is extraordinarily dedicated to helping children to learn and flourish wherever they are.”