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Volunteering heroes

Volunteering heroes

Every year former National Star students make a huge difference to their local communities through volunteering, truly embodying our vision of people with disabilities being equal and active citizens.

Sport fan Elliot, who left National Star in the summer, had the once–in–a–lifetime opportunity to volunteer at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. He spent four shifts working with the front of house team, welcoming visitors, directing them onto the site and helping them find the exits as they left.

‘It was a fantastic new experience and it was good to be part of the team,’ said Elliot. ‘I loved the uniform and felt proud to represent the Commonwealth Games. I’m a very sporty guy – I love sport, and it will look very good on my CV.’

Since leaving National Star in 2018, Georgie has been volunteering with the Straight Talking Group at the University of Dundee, helping to train first and third–year medical students in how to communicate with people with complex communication needs.

‘We hope that when people who use AAC (Augmented and Alternative Communication) devices need medical care, the doctors will be able to adapt their communication styles to ensure positive consultations,’ said Georgie, who also regularly volunteers with Hospital Radio Perth.

Former National Star student Ed makes a 70–mile round trip from Wiltshire to Gloucestershire to volunteer at Stroud’s arts venue, the Subscription Rooms. ‘Ed is simply one of our very best volunteers, he greets the audience as they arrive at the Subs and brightens everyone’s day,’ said Hugh Phillimore, Chair of the Subs Trust. In 2022, Ed was named Young Person of the Year in the Stroud Town Awards for his contribution.

Matthew, who left National Star in 2022 after completing a work outcomes programme, volunteers one day a week at the Furniture Recycling Project in Gloucester. Matthew’s duties include sanding down donated pieces of furniture, readying them for upcycling and then selling in the shop.

Could you provide a work placement for a National Star student, helping them prepare for the world of work or volunteering after college?

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