17-year-old Maryam Bibi from Aylesbury is a student volunteer at local nursing home, Lewin House, run by care provider The Fremantle Trust, and is keen to celebrate the importance of giving back during Student Volunteering Week.
Maryam is studying for her A Levels at Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School and wants to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor. She feels that volunteering at Lewin House is a valuable way of enhancing her interpersonal skills, as she enjoys sitting and listening to residents who chat to her about their lives.
As one of a number of student volunteers working across The Fremantle Trust’s older people and learning disability services, Maryam has become actively involved in the Bedside Buddies initiative at Lewin House, which supports residents who are unable to participate in activities in the main communal areas.
The initiative focuses on quality 1-1 time spent with residents, which is devoted to reminiscence work, storytelling and interactive sessions to stimulate memory and encourage communication.
Student Volunteering Week is an annual awareness week that was set up to improve student wellbeing, develop employability potential and encourage young people to make a positive contribution to their local community.
Commenting on the importance of volunteering, Maryam said:
Spending my time with residents and the team at Lewin House has really helped with my communication skills and I appreciate the importance of empathy. I think more students should consider opportunities like this as it’s so rewarding.
Tina Fox-Pearson, activity coordinator at Lewin House, added:
Maryam is an excellent volunteer and a valued member of our team. Volunteering is not only a positive way to contribute to the local community, it also offers a potential pathway into a career so is a great way for young people to gain first-hand experience in the care sector.