A TIRELESS worker has been recognised for her life-changing community work on two continents.
Amy Melody has received double honours for improving young Wearsiders’ employability and confidence in their abilities, and for helping African children provide food for their communities.
The 22-year-old, a final year Criminology and Journalism student at Sunderland University, has won the International Humanitarian Outreach Worker of the Year award.
She was also runner-up at the Positive Social Behaviour Order Awards, in Newcastle.
Having spent six weeks of her gap year in Ghana, Uganda and Kenya, Amy became keen to get involved and help those who need it most.
She jumped at the chance to join the Mount Kilimanjaro First Aid Community Project, after receiving an email from the Student’s Union during freshers week.
Amy carried out her inspirational work alongside working towards her degree, helping young carers and college students engage in education after suffering from bad experiences in their school days.
“When I was younger I helped to look after my family because my mum wasn’t very well,” she said. “So I had to help look after my two brothers.
“I didn’t feel I had much support when I was younger, and I wanted to go out and help people who were in the same situation that I was.
She added: “When I went to Africa I worked in a school helping educate young children, and helped to set up a sustainable food programme at an orphanage.
“We helped make them a vegetable patch and educated them how to look after and grow food for themselves”
Amy sold her own clothes and items on eBay, cycled from coast-to-coast and sold cakes throughout her first year at uni to fund her trip.
But the student’s charitable work does not stop there.
“Once I’ve finished University I want to return there and put something back,” she said.
“Words can’t describe the feeling you get when you see their faces.”
Christina Wren, coordinator and founder of the Mount Kilimanjaro First Aid Community Programme, said: “I meet people from all over the world and Amy is one young person who definitely stands out from the crowd because of her passion and desire to help others.
“She has made a significant contribution through her voluntary work, by adding to at least 30 students’ experiences”