As well as regularly working through the night to help people in need, first year student Aoibhin Bailie also educates people on making positive lifestyle choices.
Early Years Education with QTS student Aoibhin, from Carryduff in Belfast County Down, volunteers with SOS Bus NI, a charity that makes a difference to children, young people and adults on the streets of Belfast during the night.
“At weekends I work with a team of SOS Bus volunteers and medical staff from 10pm until 4am helping those in need at night,” said Aoibhin. “I help people who are drunk and need to receive care from hospital, those in vulnerable situations such as people at risk of sexual assault, and care for individuals who may be homeless, suicidal or simply are lonely and wish to talk. I find volunteering with SOS Bus very rewarding and enjoyable.”
Aoibhin has also volunteered as a mentor and group leader on the SOS Schools Education and Empowerment Programme for the last five years. She helps teenagers become more aware of the dangers associated with drinking to great excess and teaches them about issues such as drink spiking and assault, in the hope they will make good lifestyle choices.
Lisa Toan, SOS Schools Programme Co-Ordinator, said:
“Aoibhin is an inspirational girl who has embraced all aspects of our charity and she has proved to be a valuable member of our team. She has always given generously of her time and energy, and the qualities she has portrayed working with my team in SOS NI are not only desirable, but essential in the competitive and challenging working environment of today and my hope is that she has every success in her future studies and chosen career.”
Aoibhin has been awarded an Excellence Scholarship for giving up her time to make a significant difference to the lives of other people.
“When I found out I had been awarded a scholarship I was very happy and surprised as I didn’t expect it,” said Aoibhin. “It is great that something I enjoy so much has allowed me to receive this scholarship.”
Aoibhin hopes to continue volunteering with the SOS Bus at weekends when she returns home. She aspires to become a teacher so she can use and share the skills she has acquired through volunteering.
Click here for more information about studying for a degree in Early Years Education with QTS.