BOURNEMOUTH University student Andy Skinner is calling on the public to help make holidays possible for deafblind children and adults.
The 18-year-old is a volunteer for Sense Holidays and has been inspired to help out by his sister, Emma, who is blind.
The 22-year-old, who also suffers from physical disabilities, is one of those to benefit from the holidays, which are due to take place in locations across the UK this year, including Dorset in July.
Andy, an occupational therapy student, first volunteered two years ago and has supported an eight-year-old boy with hearing and sight loss to go go-karting, zorbing and tobogganing.
He said: “Although I grew up around somebody with a disability I never really knew what it was like to spend time with a disabled person one-to-one, tuning into their world, their fears and hopes.
“Volunteering on Sense Holidays has opened my eyes up to this and I think that it has helped me to gain a better understanding of what my sister’s disability means not only for her, but for the rest of my family too.
“It also made me realise the importance of a disabled person being able to access the same things as a non-disabled person like the opportunity to go on a summer holiday and try new activities.”
In 2014 Sense plans to run 24 week-long summer holidays across England and Wales for over 100 deafblind children and adults. The programme is completely dependent on volunteers, like Andy, who provide one-to-one support to deafblind people while enjoying a free week-long summer holiday and gaining valuable volunteering experience.
If you’d like to volunteer for Sense Holidays, visit www.sense.org.uk/content/volunteering-sense-holiday, call 0300 330 9250 or email firstname.lastname@example.org