Thomas Harrop from Rotherham College was recently nominated for the ‘Volunteer of the Year’ award by the sensory impairment charity, Sense.
Thomas began volunteering during a work placement with school in Ashley Court care home, working with deaf-blind people. He regularly helped older people who were at risk of becoming isolated or depressed by making good use of his art skills, helping with shopping, making lunches and overseeing activities.
After his placement Thomas enjoyed volunteering so much he continued to volunteer at Ashley Court for three years. Thomas, who has Down’s syndrome, is currently studying for his Certificate in Independent Living in the Community Entry Level 1 at Rotherham College’s Dinnington Campus where he volunteers in the library and helps interpret for his fellow students.
Thomas attended the award ceremony and celebration dinner in November at the Southbank Centre in London hosted by Paralympic gold medallist Steve Bate. Thomas said “I’m very proud of being nominated, it feels very special. I’m really happy that I’ve been nominated by Sense.”
Thomas and his tutors were very proud of him for achieving runner up to the ‘Volunteer of the Year’ award. He wishes to continue volunteering at Ashley Court and at the college and aspires to volunteer in the college’s student run Café @ the Heart at the Dinnington Campus.