How Former Miss Newcastle ‘fell in love’ with Zambia

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A Tyneside beauty queen has vowed to keep up with charity work after hanging up her crown.

Former Miss Newcastle Nicole Bailey was part of a group of students who travelled to Zambia as part of the Northumbria Foundation Ideals Project to help coach sport.

Last year the 22-year-old swimming coach was crowned Miss Newcastle, starting her first real spell with charity work and now, 12 months on, as she handed back the title she said she has developed a taste for fundraising.

Just back from a six week spell in Zambia where she ‘fell in love’ with the country.

She said: “I’d never been to Africa before, so I didn’t know what it would be like but it was amazing.

“We were working to promote sport and promote the awareness of aids.

“The girls we worked with were amazing.”

Along with 11 other students she helped with sports and English tuition, as well as helping to raise awareness of HIV and aids in the country.

Despite falling in love with the landscape Nicole said the trip had proved to be an eye opener with the levels of poverty unknown to someone who had grown up in a comfortable British background.

In Zambia education free until Year 8 but from Year 9 to 12 pupils must pay fees not only for each year after but also any exams taken.

Nicole added: “They didn’t have a netball court so they were just playing in dirt, some of them didn’t have trainers.

“It was quite shocking but they just get on with everything.

“In England some people grow up hating PE but over there it was used to get the kids off the street.”

Nicole and her fellow students split up and helped coach netball from 2pm to 5pm daily as well as helping out with ‘life skills’ lessons, which would concentrated on issues including sexual health, abuse, and wellbeing.

She said: “It was really good to see something going on to raise awareness.

“All I want to do is go back.

“I’m definitely going to do as much charity work as possible going forward.”

 

chroniclelive.co.uk

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