National accolade for UEA volunteers

A volunteer scheme that has had a “significant effect” on standards in schools in disadvantaged areas of Norwich has won national recognition.

A volunteer scheme that has had a "significant effect" on standards in schools in disadvantaged areas of Norwich has won national recognition.

UEA's Volunteers in Primary Schools (VIP) project sees staff and students spending time at primary schools in and around the city to help with reading and maths, lead sessions and work as classroom helpers.

Last year, 92 volunteers from the university spent an average of 20 hours each at 23 schools.

Now the scheme has won the outstanding project award at the Higher Education Active Community Fund volunteering awards.

VIP was set up in 2002 to meet the needs of primary schools - with an emphasis on those in disadvantaged areas.

Student Dan Watkins, 22, who volunteers at West Earlham First School in Norwich, said: "We are all really happy to receive the award, especially on behalf of all the schools involved."

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Jane Miller, headteacher at West Earlham First, said: "Over the past four years we have enjoyed the support of 30 volunteers who have made a staggering 300 reading partners visits. This support has a had a significant effect on our standards."