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Charity Changing Rooms with Student Hit Squad

Originally Published 10 March 2003

Forget Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and Carol Smillie. When it comes to changing rooms you can't beat the enthusiasm of student volunteers at the University of Warwick, who are getting down to some serious redecorating in the local area to help refugees, the homeless and elderly people.

The 'hit' squad of decorators, organised by Warwick Volunteers, a Society made up of over 520 students and staff from the University of Warwick, regularly roll up their sleeves to help those in need improve their homes and surroundings.

The service is completely free of charge and over the term students have received a steady stream of requests for help from households, mainly in the Coventry and Leamington area. Students have recently revived and rejuvenated a Salvation Army Homeless Shelter in Coventry and housing for elderly people in Warwick.

Kate Drury, a third year Engineering student at Warwick, and project leader for the painting and decorating scheme, said: "We turn the houses and flats we visit into real homes. Sometimes the housing needs a lick of paint and sometimes it needs a more radical overhaul. Volunteering is very rewarding, as well as being great fun, and gives a unique insight into the challenges people face living in the local community."

The painting and decorating project is so popular, the students are already receiving requests for more housing makeovers next term, including requests from Help the Aged and Grapevine, an organisation for people with disabilities.

For more information contact:
Jenny Murray, Assistant Press Officer, University of Warwick, Tel: 02476 574255 Mobile: 07876 217710 or Kate Drury Mobile: 07870 506303

Warwick Volunteers was established in October 2002 and funded by HEFCE. The project provides opportunities for students and staff at the University to volunteer in the local community, and runs an ever-growing range of projects.