Inspirational Stamford Hill volunteer secures placement in Spain

A young man from Stamford Hill has overcame the odds to secure a sought-after volunteering placement in Spain.

Martyn Sibley, 28, of Lewis Gardens, celebrated National Volunteers’ Week last week after returning from a two-month volunteer placement in Aviles where he taught English to young people.

He has spinal muscular atrophy, which means he cannot walk or lift heavy objects, but took on the challenge of volunteering abroad.

He said: “I learned a lot about running workshops, cultural differences, working with disadvantaged youth groups and a little bit of a new language.

“I would recommend volunteering to anyone, my experience has given me knowledge I would otherwise never have gained.”

Co-editor of magazine Disability Horizons, he was supported by the Can Do project run by the Leonard Cheshire Disability charity which supports disabled people throughout the UK.

Chris Fisher, London and South England project co-ordinator, said: “Martyn works hard and on a diverse range of projects and deserves his success.

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“It is difficult to find overseas volunteering opportunities for young disabled people because not all are geared up to cater for different impairments.

“Martyn’s skills and motivation impressed those offering him the placement.”

n If you are disabled, aged 16-35 and would like to become a volunteer, visit