Downing Street date for HOST housewife

PUBLISHED: 12:54 20 June 2008 | UPDATED: 21:32 26 October 2009

Trina Golland, third right, and MP Grant Shapps, third left, presenting the petition

Trina Golland, third right, and MP Grant Shapps, third left, presenting the petition

A WOMAN who plays host to foreign students has gone to Downing Street to present a petition. Trina Golland handed in the list of more than 2,000 signatures at the door of Number 11 on behalf of charity HOST, which arranges invitations for international st

A WOMAN who plays host to foreign students has gone to Downing Street to present a petition.

Trina Golland handed in the list of more than 2,000 signatures at the door of Number 11 on behalf of charity HOST, which arranges invitations for international students in the UK to stay with residents here.

The petition calls for the Government to reinstate funding which is set to be withdrawn from HOST, which would put its operations at risk.

Trina, who runs a B&B in Bell Bar with husband Jerry, is the volunteer regional organiser for Herts, and a trustee of the charity.

She regularly takes foreign students for weekends and at Christmas.

Trina said: "A HOST visit can make a big difference to a student's attitude to this country.

"On campus, it is all too easy for, say, the Chinese students, to mix only with each other.

"On a HOST visit they can experience a slice of real life, feel more at home here, chat and ask questions, taste home-cooked food and get out into our beautiful countryside.

"They also share their own culture and ideas with their hosts, so there is a mutual exchange, leading to greater international understanding, friendship and goodwill.

"I feel this kind of diplomacy, at a very personal level, is just what the world needs."

Trina was accompanied by Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps and other HOST represenatives to hand in the petition.

She added signatories were varied - from students past and present, volunteer hosts and university vice-chancellors, to writer and broadcaster Libby Purves and even the Dalai Lama.

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