A Wearside student who volunteers to help thousands of children keep safe, is hoping others will be inspired to do the same this National Volunteer’s Week.
Josie Bell, 21, a primary education student at Sunderland University, started volunteering with the NSPCC Schools Service over two years ago and has found the experience to be extremely valuable to her studies.
As a volunteer, Josie has delivered around 30 assemblies and 100 workshops in schools which are designed to help children aged four to 11 to understand abuse and know how to protect themselves.
She said: “When I moved up to Sunderland from County Durham to start university, I thought I would like to do some sort of volunteering work. “I looked at the different opportunities online and thought the NSPCC was a really valuable organisation.
“The volunteering hours are flexible and the work we do has such a huge impact. “We deliver assemblies and workshops to pupils across KS1 and KS2 which are all about children speaking out and staying safe.
“With KS2 children we define the different types of abuse and talk about what is OK and what isn’t OK.
“The children also take part in activities.”
National Volunteers’ Week is an annual event which runs from June 1 to 12 with the aim of celebrating the contribution made by millions of volunteers across the UK.
The week is organised by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)in partnership with Volunteer Development Scotland, Volunteer Now (Northern Ireland) and Wales Council for Voluntary Action. It includes taster sessions, volunteer recruitment events and awards ceremonies.
Josie, who has now spoken to around 3,200 children, underwent a day of training with the NSPCC, took part in an online course and shadowed other leaders before leading on her own.
Now the volunteering star has been nominated for the Young Volunteer of the Year Award in the NSPCC Childhood Champion Awards which will be announced on July 4.
Josie added: “I would really encourage other people to do volunteering, as it is really rewarding. “I do placements in schools for my degree and can’t imagine how I would manage without this experience, it has been really valuable.”
To volunteer with NSPCC Schools Service visit: www.nspcc.org.uk or email Christine Danby-Platt, NSPCC Schools Service Area Co-ordinator for Wearside on firstname.lastname@example.org