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Romford special needs teacher shortlisted for international volunteering award

PUBLISHED: 15:00 26 February 2019

Geraldine O'Grady has been shortlisted for a volunteering award for her work in India and for inspiring the beginnings of a disability charity.

Geraldine O'Grady has been shortlisted for a volunteering award for her work in India and for inspiring the beginnings of a disability charity.

Geraldine O'Grady

A special needs teacher feels “honoured and humbled” to have been shortlisted for a prestigious international humanitarian honour for her volunteer work.

Geraldine O’Grady, from Romford, has been nominated for the volunteer award in The Bond International Development Awards and will find out if she’s won at a ceremony held in central London on March 18.

Bond is a UK membership body for organisations working in international development and has 470 members including Oxfam Save the Children and Unicef UK as well as a selection of smaller charities.

She said: “I am honoured and humbled to be nominated for Bond’s volunteer award.

“My colleagues and I believe that everyone deserves to have their needs met, but also to have “a voice”.

“I am so proud that MAITS has strived to achieve this over the past 10 years, by enabling sustainable, inclusive health and education support to children and young people with development disabilities in low resource countries.”

Geraldine began travelling to India thanks to support from the Rangoonwala Foundation in 2008 to help train teachers how to work with children with special needs.

Her work inspired the foundation to create Maits (Multi Agency International Training and Support), the disability charity which delivers training to education and healthcare professionals across the globe.

With Geraldine as its founding trustee, Maits now operates in 21 countries and has trained more than 4,700 staff members working in the disability sector.

Director of communications at Bond Mike Wright said: “Each year we are delighted and humbled by the nominations we receive in this category.

“It is a great reflection of the hard work that goes on, often behind the scenes, by so many dedicated volunteers.

“It is a genuine pleasure to be honouring such a diverse range of humanitarians and shining a light on these inspirational people and the incredible work they are doing.”

Geraldine is joined by seven other finalists in this category and will find out who is the overall winner next month.

For more information on the awards ceremony and the other finalists, visit bond.org.uk/events/volunteer-award

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