Sophie has Sense and much sensibility

Sophie Morrison and holidaymaker Soozie
Sophie Morrison and holidaymaker Soozie
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A CITY student has been praised for her volunteering work on holidays for children with complex needs.

Now 20-year-old Sophie Morrison is calling on others to volunteer on breaks held across Britain.

For over 40 years, national disability charity, Sense, has provided a range of holidays and short breaks for children, young people and adults who are deaf-blind, have sensory impairments or complex needs.

The breaks enable the holidaymakers to develop physically, socially and emotionally, and also provide vital respite for families from caring duties.

Sophie, who is studying British Sign Language and works part time as a tutor, has already volunteered on two holidays and two short breaks and credits the experience with helping her to develop her communication skills and confidence, which has helped in her BSL studies.

Sophie, a student at Heriot-Watt University, said: “I have learned so many new skills, from small things like new crafts and Morris dancing, to learning different communication methods. I can now sign folk music songs and have a whole conversation without any words said.

“I would advise anyone thinking about volunteering to just do it.

“To know that you made a difference to a child’s life, even just for one week, makes you want to volunteer again and again. I don’t think I could stop now.”

Eleanor Coker, head of volunteering at Sense, said: “Our holidays programme is very much dependent on the support of our remarkable volunteers.

“The week is planned around the needs of the holidaymakers and our personalised approach means that we can support people to do what they want to do – however simple or complex this may be.

“Volunteers like Sophie make a hugely valuable contribution to our breaks and the support we are able to provide for holidaymakers.

“They will also have a great time, have an opportunity to use their skills in a different and varied environment all while experiencing a huge sense of achievement.”

Sense, a national charity which helps its users live more independent lives, has a range of holidays and short breaks planned for 2017 and is looking for new people to volunteer.