Seaton woman works with “amazing” people

University student Zoe Stone hopes others will adopt her New Year resolution to help deafblind people

AN adventure-loving Seaton woman has made a New Year’s resolution which she hopes will be a trailblazer for others.

After checking out volunteering opportunities last year, Zoe Stone, 20, signed up to support deafblind young people enjoy a summer break, as part of a holiday programme run by the charity, Sense.

Zoe, who is studying adventure education at Chichester University, travelled to Cilmery, a village in mid-Wales, and was matched with Rurai, a deafblind teenager.

During their week-long holiday, Zoe’s support meant Rurai could enjoy the Welsh countryside, including picnics and walks through the Brecon Beacons National Park.

She told The Herald: “Sense holidays are about amazing fun with amazing people. It’s so rewarding to give someone the chance to do something they never thought they would and I can honestly say it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. From making new friends to bonding with the holiday makers, I’d really recommend it!”

Sense runs 26 week-long summer holidays each year for over 100 deafblind children and adults in 20 locations across England and Wales, giving them a chance to try something new.

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Eleanor Coker, Sense Holidays Coordinator, said: “Volunteers like Zoe really make a difference because deafblind people will get to try new experiences, while parents and carers get a week’s respite break. If you volunteer, you will support deafblind people to have an amazing time and have fun on rollercoaster rides, canoeing or camping in a yurt. Locations range from city breaks to the Yorkshire dales and a folk festival in Kent.”

Anyone over 18 can volunteers and training and support is provided. Applications close at the end of March and places fill up fast. To make a difference visit or call 0845 127 0060.

* Sense is a national charity that has supported and campaigned for children and adults who are deafblind for over 50 years. There are currently 356 000 deafblind people in the UK and this number is set to increase by 60 per cent to 570 000 people in 2030 with the over 70s most affected.