Ready to make a difference

Charlie Shambrook from Barnstaple pictured (centre top) on the Philippines equivalent of a local bus

Charlie Shambrook from Barnstaple pictured (centre top) on the Philippines equivalent of a local bus with fellow western and Filipino volunteers. - Credit: Archant

Charlie Shambrook from Barnstaple writes about his own experiences working as a volunteer in the Philippines.

Charlie Shambrook pictured with Filipino volunteer Geronimo, who became a good friend.

Charlie Shambrook pictured with Filipino volunteer Geronimo, who became a good friend. - Credit: Archant

A Barnstaple student has returned from helping to tackle poverty in the Philippines.

Charlie Shambrook, 18, worked alongside volunteers for three months at the end of last year as part of the UK government funded development programme, International Citizen Service.

Now he hopes he can use his experiences helping the Filipino Deaf community to raise awareness of their plight and spread the word about worldwide development projects run by ICS.

He had initially planned to go travelling on finishing his business diploma course at Petroc, but a lecturer suggested he might like to look into voluntary work overseas.


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The ICS action-at-home project means that both UK and overseas communities benefit from the skills that volunteers gain while working in developing countries.

“It was really challenging but rewarding work in the Philippines and now I’m back at home, I feel so inspired and motivated by the people I lived and worked with,” said Charlie.

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“This is just the first step to me becoming more active in my community and hopefully making a positive change in the world.

“I’m keen to get involved in more volunteering opportunities and encouraging more people to do ICS or development work and apply my skills.”

Charlie, who worked on a project run by the development charity VSO, said he had picked up project management, leadership and communication skills as a result of ICS.

“It’s a unique opportunity to work alongside people from different culture who have requested help from young volunteers to fight poverty and I’d encourage anyone aged 18 to 25 to get out there and do it.”

Now back home, Charlie is hoping to find a full time job working to help people with disabilities.

Brian Rockliffe director of ICS added: “We’re passionate about investing in young people, our future leaders and using their energy to tackle poverty.

“Our experience of working with young people shows they want to challenge the status quo, take on some of the big issues and make a difference.”

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