Coventry girl Ruth Grearson, 23, is set to share skills and change lives for the better in Nigeria and the UK when she undertakes 6 months’ community work with charity Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) in October.
Ruth Grearson, who is currently working at the University of Warwick to help raise funds for her trip, says that volunteering overseas has been a lifelong ambition: ‘After I finished my Masters’ degree at Cambridge University I knew there was so much more to learn and experience about the world. What is great about VSO’s World Youth Exchange is that it gives young people the chance to make a difference in the UK as well as in a developing country.’
Ruth represents Coventry in a team of 17-25 year-olds from across the UK who are taking part in VSO’s World Youth Exchange, along with young people from Nigeria. Ruth and her team will live and work side-by-side with their Nigerian counterparts, volunteering on community projects, spending 3 months in Akure, Nigeria, and 3 months in Hounslow, London. Involved in a range of voluntary placements, from drug rehabilitation or caring for the elderly, to construction work or HIV/AIDS awareness, the youngsters will live with local families and learn all about each other’s cultures and countries firsthand.
Ruth Grearson continued: ‘It will be a life-changing challenge: volunteering in Hounslow will be different from how I live and work in Coventry, and it’s not often you get to see your country through someone else’s eyes. I’m looking forward to living and working in Nigeria, and I’m excited about being able to make a positive impact on the lives of others. I’m teaching myself the local language, Yoruba, at the moment. So far I can only say ‘hi’, but it’s a start!’
Before she leaves in October Ruth is aiming to raise £600 for VSO, and is seeking sponsorship from local companies and organisations to boost her own fundraising activities. A budding artist, Ruth is selling cards made from her own drawings to help meet her target. Professionally printed and all her own artwork, the cards are £1 with A3 prints available at £20. All proceeds go to VSO’s fight against poverty and inequality across the world.
If you would like to help Ruth fundraise for VSO by providing sponsorship or buying a card or print, she would love to hear from you. Ruth’s prints will soon be hanging in Inspire bar and restaurant, New Union Street.
For further information contact: Ruth Grearson, Mobile: 07952 322354, firstname.lastname@example.org or Jenny Murray, Press Officer, Communications Office, University of Warwick, Tel: 02476 574 255, Mobile: 07876 217740
Notes for Editors: 1. For more information on the World Youth Exchange see www.vso.org.uk or contact Enquiries on 0208 780 7500. 2. VSO is an international development charity that works through volunteers. VSO enables people aged 17-70 to share their skills and experience with communities in the developing world. VSO believes voluntary work can make a difference, tackling poverty by helping people realise their potential.