Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

You Light Up Lives, Teacher Is Told by PM

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

You Light Up Lives, Teacher Is Told by PM

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael Brown Reporter m.brown@ncjmedia.co.uk

A RETIRED geography teacher from Newcastle who has devoted the last seven years of her life to young people in Kenya has been given a Point of Light award by Prime Minister David Cameron.

Valerie Wilson visited east Africa on a school exchange trip in 1999 and was inspired to work with girls there, focusing on education, the environment and gender equality.

In 2009 the 56-year-old left her job as head of sixth form at Seaton Burn Community College to set up Team Kenya, and through her work helped 125 vulnerable youngsters complete primary school, 240 to finish secondary school and 13 to attend college and university.

"Valerie has dedicated her time to changing the lives of the local community in Ndhiwa," the Prime Minister said.

"Through Team Kenya, she has given hundreds of girls an education and provided young people with loans to set up their own enterprises - from poultry-keeping to jewellery-making.

"Valerie has changed the lives of many people in the community and I am delighted to be able to recognise her service by making her the UK's 332nd Point of Light."

The Point of Light awards recognise outstanding individual volunteers - the people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others - and each day, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their achievements. …

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