Tribute to those who do so much

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As we celebrate Student Volunteering Week (February 11-16), I’d like to pay tribute to the student volunteers who do such incredible work across the region.

Work for a charity called Vitalise, which runs Netley Waterside House in Southampton, an accessible centre providing much-needed respite breaks for people with disabilities and carers.

Each year we welcome hundreds of volunteers, who provide support and companionship for our disabled guests.

Our volunteers aren’t only students gaining valuable work experience or contributing their free time, but come from all sorts of different backgrounds and range in age from teenagers to retired people.

Some of them come from the local area, others travel half way round the world to give their precious time to Vitalise.

They all go home fulfilled and inspired by the experience.

One recent volunteer commented: “When I first arrived I was quite nervous but as time went on I began to enjoy it more and more. It has to be the most enjoyable, satisfying and stimulating week I have ever had. I would recommend it to anyone.”

I would like to invite your readers to join our wonderful volunteers and spend a week of their time - or just the odd day - helping our disabled guests have a much-needed break.

It’s tremendous fun and a fantastic opportunity for you to put your experience to good use, gain new skills and make new friends from all over the world, so why not give it a try?

For more info call 0303 303 0147 or email volunteer@vitalise.org.uk.

Visit www.vitalise.org.uk

COLIN BROOK

Senior communications officer,

Vitalise, Upper Street, London N1 0QH