Barnardo’s thanks Lin Lee during Volunteers’ Week

  |  Published: May 31st 2015
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Barnardo’s volunteer Lin Lee has earned a special place in the hearts of children with disabilities at the charity’s Little Breaks service in Wendover, Bucks.

Chartered physiotherapist Lin Lee, 54, uses her expertise to assist children aged five and under attending the sessions.

During Volunteers’ Week, which runs 1-7 June, the children’s charity is taking the opportunity to thank volunteers like Lin Lee for their dedication and commitment.

She has been volunteering since November 2012, giving over 250 hours and has never taken a week off.

Supporting children on a one-to-one basis, Lin Lee says: “It’s great to feel you’ve taken part in a child’s development. For many families the Little Breaks service is the only place they can attend where they get the opportunity to have sensory and physical play in a safe environment.

She has helped children like four year old Josh, (pictured) who is on the autistic spectrum to participate in activities he wouldn’t normally be able to.

Josh’s mum Leah Hudson said: “He loves Lin Lee and so do we. The service is amazing. It’s the only place he goes where he feels comfortable and where he does not want to leave. He has a good bond with Lin Lee. She goes out of her way to make sure he has a good time.

“It’s great for me too as it gives me chance to spend a bit of time with my two year old daughter, or even have a bit of time for myself.”

Around 120 children with a wide range of disabilities, from complex health needs to autism and learning difficulties attend the play and learn three-hour sessions.

Little Breaks spokesperson, Carl Waring, said: “This service is really important to both children and parents. It offers mums and dads much needed respite, while their children enjoy a fun and stimulating environment. They trust our trained staff with their children, knowing that they will be safe and well looked after.

“Lin Lee is an incredibly valuable member of our team and helps us maximise our service provision, which means we can offer it to more children that really need our help.”

“She will go the extra mile and on a number of occasions has helped at extra sessions often at short notice to give advice on play strategies for children with mobility needs.

“As a result of her volunteering we have been able to place an extra child in the session every week and we find her expertise invaluable in enhancing our service.”

Lin Lee adds: “I have two grown up children and enjoy working with children in a therapeutic environment. I wanted to volunteer with Barnardo’s because it has a reputation of quality childcare and the training was excellent.

“Barnardo’s makes volunteers feel part of the team. To anyone thinking of volunteering, I would say it’s really rewarding, you don’t need to be professionally qualified and it doesn’t matter what age you are.”

It’s estimated the UK has an army of around 15.2 million people volunteering at least once a month, according to the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO). The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics values the output of regular formal volunteers at £23.9 billion.

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