A DEDICATED student and British Red Cross volunteer from Reading has been awarded a special gift for her outstanding contributions towards helping refugees.

As the charity celebrates its 150th birthday tomorrow (August 4), 21-year-old Georgia has received a commemorative coin for her efforts.

She was nominated for her role supporting young refugees and vulnerable people during the coronavirus outbreak.

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The student began volunteering with the British Red Cross’ young refugee project in London, to help with the loneliness she was experiencing in her first-year at university.

It was a role would lead her to meet people from all around the world:

Georgia said: "I'd never worked with refugees before and that was something I was considering as a future path so I thought it would be a really great experience and I’d get to meet some really nice people - which I did."

Georgia helps to run sessions and activities for young refugees and is also a volunteer case worker, providing advice and support to young people going through the asylum process.

But during the coronavirus outbreak, she took on a third volunteering role as a support line volunteer, offering phone support for people who were shielding.

Reflecting on the impact that Covid-19 is having on young refugees and people seeking asylum, Georgia said: "They're struggling with college being online and not having the right technology.

"Already they're so isolated before Covid anyway and Covid has just made it even worse.

"They're [one of] the most vulnerable groups possible and I think they've really been struggling."

The work she did during coronavirus has motivated Georgia in her volunteering.

"They [the young refugees] definitely inspire me," she said.

"You think if they can cross continents and oceans then it's not much for me to pick up the phone and ring someone who's feeling a little bit lonely."

Georgia was nominated by Anna, a project co-ordinator with refugee services in London.

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Anna said: "Georgia is an amazing volunteer. She is always so helpful and full of brilliant ideas and kindness for the young people.

"Every task she takes on she does to the very highest standards and she is so dedicated to the British Red Cross.

"She is so humble despite all her amazing work and I would really like her dedication to the young refugee service and the British Red Cross in general to be recognised and encouraged."

On receiving the coin, Georgia said: "It’s nice that I have something to go home with and say, 'I’ve been recognised and I've got this coin'."

Georgia's coin is one of 150 uncirculated £5 coins donated by the Royal Mint to British Red Cross volunteers and staff nominated by their colleagues for going above and beyond during the Covid-19 emergency.