Volunteering to Make a Difference

Vodafone Foundation enables Putney resident to work for The RHN

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Local Putney resident, Emilia Kusmierczuk, starts work at national medical charity The Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability (RHN) for two months in March 2011, following her successful application to the Vodafone Foundation World of Difference programme.

Over 11,000 people registered an interest in the scheme which recognises the important skills volunteers bring to charities whilst helping with the financial difficulty that comes with not receiving a wage. Emilia is one of only 500 to be given the opportunity to volunteer their time with the charity of their choice.

Already familiar with the charity, Emilia has volunteered on a part time basis on weekends assisting patients from their wards to the Sunday church service, held at the RHN. However, the placement offers her the chance to put her skills to use on a bigger project.

Emilia will be working to develop the Education Initiative at the RHN, which aims at providing a growing range of learning opportunities to a wide variety of people. It is an important part of the RHN’s mission to ensure people with neuro-disability experience the highest quality of life possible and part of this is achieved through the education of clinicians, carers and their families.

“I am really looking forward to helping on this exciting project which has the potential to affect hundreds of lives. This will promote better knowledge and understanding of people with Neuro-disability.”

Talking about her experience already volunteering at the RHN, Emilia says “Working here always inspires hope – you see so many people taking care of each other and you know that the smallest of things makes a huge deference to patients’ and residents’ lives. Not being born in the UK, it gives me that connection to the community and allows me to give something back”

“Emilia has been a great mentor to our sixth form volunteers” says Kathryn Parkinson, Volunteer Coordinator at the RHN, “and I am sure she will be a great asset once she starts full time.”

The Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability is a national medical charity helping people who are affected by brain injury. Some have been in car accidents, been mugged or might simply have fallen down stairs. Others have had a stroke, a heart attack, or have an illness affecting their brain such as Multiple-Sclerosis or Huntingdon’s disease.

The RHN offers an extensive range of rehabilitation and long-term care services, including specialist therapies and state of the art technology.


As part of the charity’s mission, the RHN conducts research and offers training to improve understanding and promote the optimum quality of life possible for people with neuro-disability.

World of Difference UK is a programme which gives people the chance to take a two month paid placement with a charity of their choice and bring their skills to the sector.

Vodafone Foundation, which is independent from the mobile phone operator but funded through annual contributions from the company, has donated over £150 million to charitable activities since 2002.

February 4, 2011