Eleri is a young woman who has struggled with Expressive Language Disorder and Learning Disabilities throughout her young life. She has overcome many problems but volunteering and the support she has received from other volunteers, has and is turning her into an accomplished young woman.

Having attended Ysgol Tir Morfa in Rhyl, which caters for students with challenging needs, Eleri has taken life by the horns and is forging a fulfilling life for herself and others.

In 2013 at the age of 20, to build on her confidence in meeting people and to become part of her community, Eleri registered as a Millennium Volunteer and over the next four years carried out short periods of volunteering on a monthly basis for Cuddles, a fundraising group in aid of Glan Clwyd Hospital’s Special Care Baby Unit. As her confidence built, Eleri started some short periods of volunteering at the nearby Pengwern College which supports and educates young people with Special Educational Needs who are over 16 years of age.

By April 2017, Eleri had completed a little over 200 hours of volunteering hours and was presented with a Millennium Volunteer Award of Excellence signed by the First Minister at the Welsh Assembly Government. Eleri was presented with her Award by Cllr Peter Scott Vice Chairman of Denbighshire County Council at a special Volunteers Week Youth Volunteering Celebration Event in Prestatyn.

Over the last year or so, Eleri’s confidence has grown and grown. She now regularly carries out an average of 26 hours volunteering a week, broken down to two days at the British Heart Foundation Charity and Furniture Shops in Rhyl, and two days at Pengwern College. She also continues her fundraisings events for Cuddles.

At Pengwern College, Eleri volunteers with the various classroom and outdoor activities whilst at the BHF Shops in Rhyl she helps move and displays the stock, and meets and assists the customers.

Eleri’s confidence is building daily and now in addition to her volunteering Eleri has secured a small job at St Asaph Cattle Market once a week for a few hours helping to move the livestock.

Eleri was nominated by DVSC’s own Youth Volunteering and Wellbeing Officer, Gerry Frobisher, for the WCVA Volunteer of the Year Award 2018 and won a Highly Commended award for her inspiring volunteering achievements.

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