PM’s thanks for student Tom

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Tom Jackson

Policing student, Tom Jackson was invited to attend a barbeque with the Prime Minister after supplying free school uniforms to hundreds of children.

Tom, from Low Fell, was among a small number of people chosen to attend a barbeque with Boris Johnson at 10 Downing Street.

The 17-year-old Gateshead College student was selected for his work to provide around 200 families in Gateshead with free school uniforms as part of a project with National Citizen Service (NCS).

Mr Johnson commended his work and wished him luck on his aspirations to become a police officer in the future.

Tom said: "It was amazing and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

"I was one of only three NCS volunteers in the country to be chosen to attend the event so I feel incredibly lucky."

The BB-Thank-Q event was held as part of the UK's first national Thank You Day to pay tribute to people who have made a difference throughout the pandemic.

Recently appointed Health Secretary Sajid Javid was also in attendance, as well as celebrity chef Levi Roots, who prepared food for the guests.

Tom added: "It was a privilege to be there and speak to Boris Johnson about the work we've been doing.

"I also told him I was in the Cadets and he congratulated me on that and I mentioned how I wanted to become a police officer and he said we need people in the police force."

Tom and his fellow NCS team members launched 'Gateshead Uniform Donation' last summer while taking part in the youth volunteer social action programme.

The project was inspired by volunteers' personal experiences, as many had experienced issues around the affordability of school uniform within their own families.

The group decided to set up a donation service and collected unused or good quality blazers, jumpers, shirts, trousers, stationery and other supplies.

Around 500 bags of school uniform were donated after the team put out a post on social media about the project.

Tom continued to run the uniform programme alongside his studies. He’ll be ramping it up again this summer ahead of the new term in September.

Tom will be back at Gateshead College next year where he will complete his second and final year on the Level 3 Uniformed Public Services and Policing course. He then hopes to move into the police force either through the university degree or apprenticeship programme.

Sat May 21 2022