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Published: January 2nd 2014
This coming February, Lifestart Foundation will welcome an inspirational and passionate volunteer, Beth Halford. As a UK registered physiotherapist, she has received both her Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, and a Master of Science in physiotherapy. She is also trained in Chirokinetics and is a Reiki Practitioner too. Wow!
Beth has a wealth of knowledge and experience in providing physiotherapy services for non-profit organizations. Whilst working full time for the National Health Service, Beth also worked closely with Athlete’s Angels,providing therapy support for many participants at a number of charity sports events; a role integral to helping charities meet their fundraising goals.
All too soon, Beth began to suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, drastically impacting her ability to work and perform regular tasks. Disheartened, she seriously considered leaving her work. However, with the use of Chirokinetics Beth recovered, and quickly decided that life is simply too precious to not make the most of it. Eight months later Beth boarded a flight to Delhi.
“I travelled through India, hiking in the Himalayas and spending time in Delhi, Agra, Varanasi and Kerala as well as working for three months at the Shakyamuni Buddha Community Healthcare Centre in Bodhgaya, Bihar,
Beth worked within the poorest state in India, using her experience and skills to improve services and build the capacity of the local staff. It was during this time that she felt impassioned to help provide low income countries with essential healthcare services.
Having recently completed a three month placement volunteering at the SERC school for disabled children in Kathmandu, Nepal, she reports feeling as if she learnt more from these inspiring children than she could ever give them in return.
“My passions are using my skills through volunteering to provide a sustainable change to the healthcare provided by the places I work with, always trying to give as much as I take from my experience and leaving behind new knowledge for local people to continue using to help others.” Beth appreciates the necessity of capacity building local staff, “I've come to realise it's not about making ourselves feel good or being the hero; empowering others to do the job better when you're gone so they can help seems a far better approach, handing the power of healing over to others.”
Of course, with this mindset, and such an inspiring history of volunteering abroad, we
know that Beth will be a great asset to the Lifestart Foundation team with our Vietnamese Physiotherapist Thuyet, eagerly awaiting her arrival. As a recent graduate Thuyet is keen to further hone her skills and be capacity built by Beth.
Beth will arrive in Hoi An as a self-funded volunteer for 6 months in February 2014, and is currently raising funds for the provision of her food and accommodation costs.
She will be hosting a fundraising talk at Itchen Abbas village hall near Winchester in the UK, on January 18th. She has previously spoken about her experiences in India, and will be discussing her recent time in Nepal. These talks provide Beth with an outlet to share her experience, encourage others to consider international volunteering and speak of the amazing organizations and people she has worked with.
Beth tells of her cultural experiences, challenges, and achievements in a very honest way. It is an excellent opportunity for those curious about volunteering and living abroad, and will provide you with a chance to ask your questions and find answers to things you may not have realized you questioned. Additionally, Beth will be selling various Nepalese goods at this
event. She purchased these products from individuals within the community she lived in, and the sale of each item will go towards funding her trip to Hoi An.
Beth is an inspiring young person who is dedicating her time and expertise to help those less fortunate. She could be back home in the UK no doubt earning a tidy sum but instead has chosen to volunteer and live a simple life abroad and to volunteer. If you are in the UK please go along and meet Beth on January 18th and support her continued humanitarian work.
Here's the link to Beth's fundraising page. For UK tax payers you are able to claim gift aid (reclaim tax) https://scf.workwithus.org/Fundraising/Donate.aspx?page=8174
Beth is an incredibly talented writer, and you can read her personal stories by visiting her blog, A Physio Abroad
A BIG thank you to Guest Blogger Alana for writing this blog about Beth. Alana is from Canada and is currently on a 6 month volunteering assignment with LSF in Hoi An. She is our LSF Social Media Development Officer. Interested in Volunteering?
Arm yourself with as much information as possible about your host organisation, read their
website thoroughly and I would suggest that you read this blog on International Volunteering
Have a look at current LSF Volunteer blogs and stay connected with weekly happenings at our Wordpress site.
For those of you who are little techno challenged like myself if you click on any of the words in blue it will automatically link you into that subject. Don't forget to have a look at our website and find out how you too can support us from anywhere in the world. Enjoying the blogs? Forward them along or subscribe those that you think would be interested in Lifestart Foundations work.......it's free!
If you happen to be in Hoi An, Viet Nam, visit us at:
LIFESTART FOUNDATION WORKSHOP
77 Phan Chau Trinh Street,
Lots of Love from Karen
Read stories from past volunteers here: Meet Sheila from Shropshire Hills, UK Meet Emma from New Zealand Learn more about International Volunteering A New Project for Lifestart Foundation Update from Lifestart Foundation Free Disability Centre Meet Carmen from Germany Meet Sahar from the UK Meet Robbie and Al from Australia Meet Sahar from the UK Al and Robbie Meet Trisha from New Zealand Art Classes with Lone from Denmark 9th August 2011 Ruth: Teaching English in Vietnam 31st May 2011 E: Why Vietnam Rocks 9th Dec 2010 Sue: Capacity Building and Cleaning Up Mud 29th July 2010 Mark and Mary: Teaching English as a Second Language November 2009 Tropical Storm Ketsana - A picture is worth a thousand words Cycle Vietnam for a Worthy Cause – Jan 17th 2009 Doctor John – Jan 14th 2009 Memory Portraits – Jan 14th 2009 Birdman Returns – Jul 15th 2008 Meet Sherry – A dream volunteer – Apr 30th 2008
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