Physiotherapist Penny O’Sullivan has been nominated for an award from NGO Voluntary Services Overseas International (VSO) for her work in setting up a therapy centre for people with neurological disabilities in India.
Ms O’Sullivan founded the small charity Friends of Roshni UK after volunteering as a physio at the Roshni school based in central India from 2001-04.
At the time, ‘it existed as a school but had no therapy input, so I set up a physio department and recruited local physios, training them up as well as assistants. I felt such a connection to the school that I wanted to keep going by sending therapists with skills and experience to volunteer,’ she explains.
The charity has sent 31 volunteers to date, and this has enabled growing numbers of disabled children to be assisted to attend mainstream schools, she says.
Now the therapy centre also sees adults and is a hub for vocational training and early intervention programmes
The VSO Impact Beyond Volunteering Award is decided by public nominations which are open until October 25. The results will be announced on 5 December.
Ms O'Sullivan is a community paediatric physiotherapist in Manchester.
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