A Blackpool teenager is a step closer to setting off on an overseas aid mission thanks to a fund set up in memory of a police hero.
Grace Jackson, 15, has been awarded a grant from the Gerald Richardson Trust to travel to Nepal where she will be helping schoolchildren in areas hit by last year’s deadly earthquake, which caused widespread devastation.
The teen is hoping to travel as part of a group from Baines High School in Poulton.
But she has had to raise £2,500 to join in the once in a lifetime trip during which the Year 11 pupils will teach life skills and more to youngsters in the Himalayan nation.
Grace, who lives in Newton Drive, said: “It’s a trip a few pupils in Year 11 are going to make.
“But it’s a lot of money to find.
“My mum said she would help with half if I could raise the other half.
“But now it looks like I’m going to be able to make it all myself.
“It’s an unbelievable opportunity and I really want to go out there and help.
“My mum was ill when I was younger and I spent a lot of time at home with her so to do something like this will be amazing.
“The area we are visiting is one that was badly hit by the earthquake and we will be able to help in our own way.”
Grace has been busy making sure her trip will go ahead, contacting charities and hosting her own events to raise the funds
She said: “I’ve had support from a few charities and I’ve raised money doing car washes and all sorts of other things but this grant is a big help.
“I’ve got about £500 to go but I’m sure I’ll make it.”
Mum Donna, 39, an office manager and magistrate is proud of her daughter for wanting to help others.
She said: “Grace wanted to go so badly.
“She said that she would raise half which is a lot for a teenager to do.
“But she’s made an amazing effort, she’s done so much, it’s terrific.
“You hear so much about young people in a negative light it’s brilliant to know she’s going to this effort to go out there to help others.
“I know she’ll be a long way away but it’s something she really wants to do.”
The Gerald Richardson Trust was set up in memory of Supt Gerry Richardson who was killed trying to stop a jewel raid in Blackpool in 1971.
He is one of the highest ranking police officers ever to have been killed in the line of duty in the UK – he was posthumously awarded the George Cross.
Cash is awarded annually to deserving young people in Blackpool.
Donna said: “I have to thank the trust and the family of Supt Richardson.
“I am sincerely grateful to them and it is wonderful they have established a long lasting legacy for young people in the resort.”
Pupils from Baines, including Grace, are due to fly to Nepal next summer.