Barnoldswick student volunteers in South American crime capital

Barnoldswick criminology student, Vicki Hartley is Equador bound.
Barnoldswick criminology student, Vicki Hartley is Equador bound.

A BARNOLDSWICK student is heading to one of South America’s crime capitals as part of charity work with poverty-stricken children.

Vicki Hartley (20), of Gisburn Road, is flying to Quito in Ecuador in July to undertake six weeks of work with The Street Kids Project.

The non-governmental organisation helps children who are often homeless, by providing a safe environment to eat, shower, relax and meet others in a similar situation.

Vicki, a second year Forensic Psychology and Criminal Justice student at Liverpool University, is looking forward to the trip and is keen to help those less fortunate than herself.

By working with the project, founded by two psychologists, she hopes to help tackle issues early and stop future generations falling into life as thieves, street workers and drug dealers.

She may also get the opportunity to work in a children’s hospital for a week, something Vicki feels would be really interesting.

Vicki said: “While in Quito, I will get the chance to help children with their homework, help in the carpentry workshop, help in the kitchen, visit schools and prepare activities for children to enjoy and learn.

“I’m really excited at the thought of helping with this project and know it will be a fantastic experience.

“I feel it will be rewarding and I hope that I will return feeling as though I have made a valuable contribution to helping these disadvantaged children.”

But the budding psychologist is equally aware of conditions in the Ecuadorian capital as well as its crime rates and will be taking advantage of local travel tips.

The UK Government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office website warns travellers that incidents of armed robbery, express kidnapping and mugging are all on the rise, particularly in Quito.

Vicki added: “I’m pretty apprehensive and nervous because I know that the conditions in Quito are vastly different to here in the UK and there will be some huge cultural differences.

“Travellers Worldwide, the company I’m going with, have a support team and I will also familiarise myself with the city before I get there.”

Before Vicki heads off to Ecuador she needs to help to fund her trip and has already raised half the expected £2,500 she requires through car boot sales and a quiz night.

However, she also has a race night planned on Saturday, April 6th, at 7pm at Rolls-Royce Leisure Club and is completing a 45-mile charity bike ride from Morecambe to the Skipton Road venue on May 18th.

The race night is being sponsored by Sherlock and Blackwell Accounting but Vicki is hoping to get sponsors for each of the eight races as well as a race night commentator.

She also plans to auction off the winning horses after the event.

To contact Vicki for tickets, priced at £3 each or £5 including a horse, you can call her on 07534 602810 or send an email to at