A police community support officer in Keighley is set to help Namibian children receive an education.

PCSO Niel Holmes, 52, is taking unpaid leave from work to spend a month in the South African country building a shelter for school children to sleep in.

He will be leading a team of 20 young people with the World Challenge organisation.

Also a keen hill walker and canoe and raft builder, Mr Holmes said: "I will be going to live with an ancient tribe called the San Bush people. To send their children to school, the San Bush people have to pay for their children to stay in a nearby hostel, but many of them can't afford to do this, so their children don't go to school.

"Currently the San Bush people are having to sleep rough or in a dilapidated tent.

"But we will go out there in July and erect a marquee for them to stay in so they can go to school.

"After we have put up the marquee, we will also refurbish the playground and make a vegetable garden so that the people there can support themselves without having to pay for food."

Mr Holmes, whose previous career was in the armed forces, said he thought the Namibian experience would be a culture shock for him and the young people on the project.

He said: "I have got to the stage of life now where one of the reasons I wanted to become a PCSO is because I wanted to put something back into the community.

"This is also doing something for somebody else, which I will get a lot out of.

"I think the people that we are taking will have the cultural experience of their lives and the people that we are going to help out there can also see a different side of the western people coming to help them out."

From now until July Mr Holmes will collect English football shirts - which he is told are very popular in Namibia - for the San Bush children. To donate a shirt, call 07968 605395.