Lucie Determined to 'Help Make a Positive Change' After Scholarship Award

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A Worcester student has been awarded a University Scholarship to help fund a volunteering trip to Sri Lanka.

Lucie Beech Pickard, a second year Physiotherapy student, will be travelling to the country in August, and will be working as a student physiotherapist based in a hospital in the city of Kandy.

Whilst there, she will be assisting in a variety of treatments on sports injuries, post-operative rehabilitation, amputee patients, outpatients and inpatients, and confronting conditions such as leprosy, which is still prevalent in Sri Lanka.

Lucie says that it was the desire to develop her knowledge in different aspects of physiotherapy, gain hands-on experience and make a difference to others which have prompted her to undertake the trip.

She explains: “This was something I had thought long and hard about. I decided I wanted to do something that would benefit others; I have always wanted to volunteer but never found the right opportunity where I could really make a difference. 

“85.4% of the world’s population lives in a developing country – these countries have a lower living standard, under-developed industrial bases and low human development. In order to develop, a country needs economic and industrial growth and support and experience with healthcare so the standard of living can improve.

“This means that I can volunteer my knowledge and skills in a developing country within physiotherapy and help make a positive change whilst also gaining more knowledge and experience.”

Lucie is still considering a range of further career options – including working with athletes, becoming an RAF medical officer and doing further research into physiotherapy – but she says that she is sure the experience she will pick up in Sri Lanka will be extremely beneficial.

“I am so grateful that the university have decided to support me as this has made this trip possible,” she says. “I have been trying to fundraise alongside coming to university, going out on placement and having a part time job and it has proven very difficult.

“I will still continue to fundraise but with the university’s help it will not be such a huge task.”

Students can apply to the scholarship scheme at two points during the year (December and February) for up to £1,000 towards voluntary work or activities; to pursue a particular interest, for example music, sport or the arts; or towards course-related activities.