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Why volunteering matters

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We all have our own reasons for wanting to volunteer our time to help others and if there is an excellent example of how much volunteers are needed, then we don’t have to look much further than our student ranks at Coventry University.

Bethanie Downing didn’t need to join the University’s Student Volunteer Team as she was a seasoned veteran before she came to study here!

She was a young carer to her Dad and knows first-hand how difficult it is for young people when they are in a caring role, so at aged 17, she decided to volunteer her time to the Warwickshire Young Carers Project to help others.

Bethanie, who is a second year Psychology student, supports the work that the group does in Nuneaton and Bedworth and also helps out with trips during the holidays. The project has also sent her on training courses which enables her to help other young people who find themselves in a similar situation to herself.

As well as the sterling work she does with the Warwickshire Young Carers Project, she is also on the Board of Directors for the Huntington’s Disease Youth Organisation (HDYO) which is the disease that is in her own family.

Bethanie is the youth representative for the HDYO and helps to plan and implement the projects that they run worldwide.

Volunteering is now a way of life for Bethanie, but she still manages to fit it in with her studies!

In return for volunteering her time, the charity paid to send her to Rome to meet his Holiness The Pope when he met with Huntington’s Disease patients and advocates at The Vatican.

She was also sent to Vienna earlier this year for an international professional’s conference for the European Huntington’s Disease Network.

Bethanie said:

“Volunteering has given me so much as well as invaluable opportunities to make connections with professionals from across the world. If I can use these connections to make things better for others, then it is more than I can hope for.”

Bethanie is a truly amazing person and if her story has inspired you to looking into volunteering, then why not check out the volunteering opportunities on the website, especially the Make A Difference Days which take place throughout the year.

You won’t believe the difference volunteers make to the smooth running of a charity and the experience you get from being involved is well worth it, especially if Bethanie’s story is anything to go by.

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