A GODSHILL volunteer enjoyed the “experience of a lifetime” helping communities in Nepal.

Lilly O’Brien signed up to the Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) and has been reflecting on her three month placement in Changunaryan, which she completed on February 24. She stayed with a local family.

The 22-year-old said: “My trip to Nepal was eye-opening, wonderful, hard work and a once in a lifetime experience. I lived and worked in a community, not unlike Godshill, where neighbours chatted in the streets, babysat each other’s children and shared celebrations together.

“In many ways it reminded me of home. However, in this community sanitation, healthcare and education were not freely available, with many suffering from curable illnesses and lacking in basic health and academic education.”

Lilly and a team of 11 volunteers organised projects centred on basic first aid, sanitation, disaster risk reduction, earthquake drills and female health.

She said: “The projects we ran in our communities have paved the way for the next cycle of volunteers to continue this work, implementing education, healthcare, earthquake risk reduction and sanitation.”

She says she has “many fond memories” of her trip especially spending Christmas and her 22nd birthday with the Nepali community.

“My experiences in Nepal have taught me so much about the importance of learning from different cultures, appreciating what you have and for me personally has confirmed that charity work is something I want to continue and forge a career in,” Lilly said.

“I want to thank everyone who helped and supported me, especially the community of Godshill that once again showed their unwavering kindness, generosity and support.”