A student has won an exciting opportunity to help save eyesight in Africa.

Usmaan Saleem, 20, was picked as one of only two current optometry students in the UK who entered a contest to receive a bursary to join an Vision Aid Overseas trip to Zambia next summer.

And Usmaan, from Thornton Lodge Road, who is studying at Bradford University, said that it was his mentor John Field at the Springwood Central Youth Club who helped him gain the place, by supporting and pushing him over the years.

Huddersfield Central Youth Club's John Field (right) with Usmaan Saleem, who he's helped to mentor.

The bursary has been financed by the Irvine Aitchison Memorial Fund.

Usmaan, a former Moor End Academy student, will join another optometry student for two weeks from July to August, where he will experience different working conditions, educate local staff and carry out certain procedures.

He said: “I was overwhelmed when I received my confirmation letter.

“I am looking forward to helping and witnessing the transformation of many lives.

“I’m not sure exactly where we’ll go but I know I’ll be helping in many ways by teaching some local nurses, helping to set up an institute that will provide eye care and maybe carry out some procedures that I know how to do.”

He spoke of the importance of John, who is the youth club leader at Springwood and helped him volunteer there for several years.

Huddersfield Central Youth Club's John Field (right) with Usmaan Saleem, who he's helped to mentor.

“I started volunteering at the centre when I was 15 and from there I’ve progressed onto other things. John has helped me get to where I am today.

“Thanks to him, I’ve undertaken hundreds of hours of volunteering at the club, which were recognised by Greenhead College and Huddersfield New College.

“I’ve participated in several other volunteering opportunities such as at Longley School looking after children with Autism and was awarded by the Huddersfield Examiner Awards with the Student Community Award 2013.

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“I think this has all helped me get one of the bursaries.

“I hope the experience in Zambia will enhance my leadership and communication skills to strengthen my career as an optometrist."