An inspirational grandmother who dedicated her life to helping children in Gambia was honoured by the Queen and has been nominated in the Pioneer’s Your Champions.

Over the past 20 years Sally Reader, Hadlow Road, Willaston, has raised more than £124,000 towards improving schools and the lives of thousands of children across the country.

The grandmother-of-five was recognised for her remarkable achievements after being awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the New Year Honours list.

Sally, 72, set up the Friends of Gambian Schools (Frogs) after falling in love with the country during an unplanned holiday with her husband Malcolm, 71, back in 1992.

Remarkably, her love affair with Gambia began by chance after Malcolm fell off the roof and broke his leg, forcing them to cancel their Caribbean trip and rethink their plans.

She headed backwards and forwards to help refurbish a school in a two year project which ended with her founding the charity with help from supporters and friends.

Twenty four containers of books, pencils and educational equipment were sent to schools across Gambia.

After seven years of sending equipment to children in the country, Sally and Malcolm moved there so that she could continue her work closer to the children she was helping.

“It is hard to imagine how many children we have affected by the work we have done,” said Sally who is treated like the Queen by schools and children she visits across the country.

The couple closed the charity and moved to Willaston due to personal reasons in December 2012 but Sally still keeps in touch the schools and gets letters from the children.

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