A KIND-HEARTED teacher who was left heartbroken when she realised a bullied student’s mother was too sick to provide her son with clean clothes has launched a charity.

Joyce Obaseki, of Whitehills Road, Loughton, could not stand by and do nothing when she saw students come in to school having not showered or brushed their teeth and with dirty uniform.

The 42-year-old took matters into her own hands and Grant a Smile, which supports children of parents battling chronic and life threatening medical condition, was born.

She said: “A lot of kids from different types of backgrounds.

“You see children come into school bullied for poor personal hygiene, like their teeth unbrushed, their uniform dirty.

“One day I decided to approach a young boy who was constantly bullied for the way he looked and I found out his mother was actually chronically ill.

“He wasn’t at risk in anyway but his mother was just too sick to clean the house or even wash his uniform.

“As a teacher we don’t see what goes on behind closed doors.”

The mother-of-three decided to find agencies to help these families, but realised nothing existed.

But so determined to help these children and their families, she decided to help them herself.

She quit her job as an English Literature teacher at Basildon Academy and Grant a Smile was officially launched last month.

The charity cleans, declutters and iron people’s homes for free to improve their quality of life and allow their children to thrive.

It also grants wishes to struggling families thanks to a team of volunteers across the region who help make it happen.

Devoted Christian Joyce tries to attend Sunday mass every week - but often foregoes it so she can lend a hand to families in need.

“I want to put a smile on their faces, that’s the most important thing,” she said.

In her spare time, Joyce, who is originally from Nigeria, enjoys cooking for her family, reading personal development books and exercising.

She also enjoys spending time with her sons, aged 15, five and four.

She added: “I love to impact people’s lives and inspire them to evolve.

“I used to be a teacher’s coach at my previous secondary school where I taught other teachers how to improve.

“Now I just enjoy coaching my family and friends to help boost their emotional well-being and train their mind set to exude positivity.”

Asking where she see’s Grant a Smile in a few years’ time she says: “I would love more people to involved and show their support towards the organisation and for it to become a household name.

“Many families in familiar situations, still don’t know that there is help and care available from us.”