A student dispensing optician from Specsavers in Pembroke Dock has spent three weeks volunteering at an understaffed rural school in India.

‘Stark difference in education’

23-year-old Lucy Swindlehurst visited the outskirts of Udaipur, in the state of Rajasthan, as part of a voluntary scheme to teach children aged five to seven.

‘Volunteering is something that I have always wanted to do and when the opportunity came around for me to go to India to teach children, I knew I had to go for it,’ says Lucy.

‘Seeing the stark difference between the education systems in India, compared to here in the UK, was quite a shock. I’d love to volunteer again – the team at Specsavers has been so supportive of my trips away.’

The school relies on volunteers like Lucy to help teach children from communities in the surrounding areas.

Lucy, who works as a trainee dispensing optician for Specsavers on Dimond Street, took the journey through an organisation called Pod Volunteer, which arranges volunteering opportunities around the world. She also completed her Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate.

‘Willing to go extra mile’

Samantha Evans, manager of Specsavers in Pembroke Dock, said: ‘Lucy has proven in the past that that she is willing to go the extra mile for charitable causes, so it was no surprise when she told us that she was going to visit a school in India and, in her words, put her summer break to good use, by helping those who need it the most.

‘The children wouldn’t have access to education if it wasn’t for the work of volunteers like Lucy, so everyone in store would like to commend her for commitment to charitable work.’

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