Volunteers' Week: In the spotlight - David Coulthard and Faith Lowes

Volunteers' Week: In the spotlight - David Coulthard and Faith Lowes

This Volunteers' Week, we will be catching up with various volunteers who have all made a big impact during their time with the Foundation of Light.

We want to know what made volunteers want to join the Foundation and the impact volunteers feel they have made since joining the organisation.

We sat down with David Coulthard and Faith Lowes – two volunteers who recently volunteered in Nakura, Kenya, on behalf of the Foundation.

Teaming up with travel company African Adventures, every year Foundation volunteers travel to Nakuru, Kenya, to help improve the lives of thousands of children.

The amazing adventure offers people a once-in-a-lifetime experience, where volunteers spend time alongside like-minded others – teaching in classrooms, coaching sports, or building new classrooms, enabling them to develop new skills and dedicate their time to a valuable cause.

Reflecting on the trip, David said: “You can’t underestimate the impact that it did have because when you see how appreciative the children are for the time that we gave them, the lessons that we taught them, for the donations that we took over, you see the look on their faces and that tells you all you need to know about the size of the impact that we made.

“When you’re there and until you actually get there, you just don’t appreciate how little the people out there have got, particularly in that area."

David also spoke about the benefits of being a volunteer for the Foundation of Light. He added: “It’s a good opportunity to give something back to your local community and you can get a lot of pride from the seeing the results that the Foundation has and knowing you have played a small part in that.”

Fellow volunteer Faith, also couldn’t speak highly enough of her trip to Kenya and admitted she grabbed the opportunity with both hands when the opportunity presented itself. She said: “I would highly encourage anyone who wants a once in a lifetime experience to volunteer for this project. The trip not only had an impact on everyone at the Ungana Academy but it impacted all of us who went with the Foundation of Light.

“I have always been a fan of Sunderland AFC and when the opportunity was raised to me to go to Africa with Sunderland’s official charity, there was no hesitation. All six volunteers were proud to represent the Foundation throughout our trip to Africa.”

Looking ahead to future trips to Kenya, Faith also had some words of wisdom for the next generation of volunteers. “Go all in. Always say yes to opportunities.

“There were many moments when I was volunteering in Africa where I was pushed out of my comfort zone but some of them moments are now my favourite memories. I have grown as an individual volunteering.”

The Beacon of Light will be hosting an Information Evening on 6 July for people who are interested in volunteering in Nakuru, Kenya, in 2023. Click here to register.