A staff member from a Co-operative Childcare nursery in Oxford has travelled to Cambodia where she volunteered at an orphanage.
Lex Hamilton works at the Co-operative Childcare nursery in Rose Hill and, along with her colleagues, spends hours volunteering. Her ten-days trip to Cambodia was part of the community hours she pledged to give working for the Midcounties Co-operative. With support from her colleagues, she collected toys, clothing and learning materials for children at the orphanage.
She said: “As part of our co-operative values, we always teach our children to use their time to benefit others and so I thought, what better way to explain this than giving my own time to such a good cause. One thing I particularly noticed from my trip was how universal play really is, and it was great to be able to utilise my skills as a care provider, to teach the children at the orphanage and play with the toys we’d taken over.”
Called Our Village, the orphanage is run by the New Hope For Cambodian Children charity. They house 240 HIV positive children and help many more all over Cambodia.
“When asked to picture an orphanage most people think of dark and dingy rooms, but this was as far from that as you can get. The children are well looked after, they are happy and live in surroundings that are colourful and bright, in a place that they are well loved and cared for emotionally and physically. It was a pleasure to spend time with them and I’m so pleased the whole nursery was able to get involved and help.”
Mike Abbott, group general manager at The Co-operative Childcare, added: “As a co-operative, each of our colleagues commit some of their time to helping the community- although not always as far afield as Cambodia. Lex’s commitment is a great example of this and her work over there is an inspiration to both the children and her colleagues.”
The Co-operative Childcare as a whole has committed 2,487 hours in 2014 whileRose Hill colleagues have spent 73 hours in communities last year.