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Norwich: Student volunteers rewarded

PUBLISHED: 16:53 08 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:08 01 July 2010

Kate Scotter

A group of students from a special needs school in Norwich gave up their own free time to help others and have now been rewarded for their efforts.

A group of students from a special needs school in Norwich gave up their own free time to help others and have now been rewarded for their efforts.

The further education students at Harford Manor School in Ipswich Road, Norwich, recently received an award for their voluntary work in the local community.

The 11 dedicated students spent more than 50 hours volunteering, making them eligible for the national v50 award.

Encouraged by their teachers, the group walked over to the nearby Hewett Nursery at the Hewett School, Cecil Road, once a week to help completely revamp the nursery's play facilities.

The pupils sanded and painted wooden play equipment and cleared overgrown areas to help the nursery children enjoy a much improved outdoor play area.

Throughout the work, they were provided with a group log-book by the Norfolk vinvolved youth volunteering team of Voluntary Norfolk so they could record their volunteering activities and become eligible for a v50 Award.

Will Mills, from vinvolved Norfolk, said: “It was a pleasure to attend the school assembly and to be able to present the awards personally. The students did a great job and they, and their school, deserve to be congratulated. The school is already looking for more local projects for students to get involved in so the volunteering is set to continue, which is great news.”

Harford Manor is a purpose-built school for children and young adults aged from three to 19 years of age, all of whom have special educational needs which cannot be adequately catered for in mainstream schools.

When the students had finished the work at the nursery, they were joined by nursery children for a thank you celebration with drinks and biscuits.

Alma Simmonds, manager at the nursery, said: “They were brilliant, really good. We enjoyed having them over here and they worked so hard.

“I was so grateful. There was so much to do that I thought we wouldn't get it done so I jumped at the chance when they offered to help. It's really good news that they've received an award, they really deserve it.”

vinvolved Norfolk is based at Voluntary Norfolk and is a local branch of the national youth volunteering charity v, which aims to support and encourage 16-25 year olds to volunteer all over the country.

For more information about vinvolved Norfolk, visit vinvolvednorfolk.org.uk or contact Will Mills at Voluntary Norfolk on 01603 883848.

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