IELTS Cue Card Sample 479 - Person who has done a lot of work to help people

IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card.

Describe a person who has done a lot of work to help people.

You should say:

  • who this person is/was
  • where this person lives/lived
  • what he/she has done/ did to help people

and explain how you know about this person.

[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you're going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]

Sample Answer 1:
This is an interesting topic. Many people help others as part of their professional role – perhaps giving advice, teaching students or providing medical treatment. Of course, all of these things are incredibly important, impressive and of course helpful. They demonstrate dedication, training, perhaps even the pursuit of a vocation. Even so, on one level it could be said such individuals are doing what they are paid to do. Others help people simply by being open and friendly – like the neighbour who offers a newcomer to the street a welcome and a cup of tea to help them settle, or a work colleague who volunteers to show a newcomer the ropes when they start in a new job. Again this is really commendable, but, thankfully, relatively a common place. I hope of all of us at some time have both encountered, and indeed been, one of those people offering help. The person I’m thinking of to talk to you about today is a bit more out of the ordinary.  I’d go so far as to say he is quite exceptional in terms of what he has done to help others.

I’ll tell you a bit about who this person is, where they live and what it is they do. I’ll also talk about how I came to know about this person as I tell the story.

So the person is known locally as The Mohican Runner, he lives in my home city of Sheffield. To be quite honest, when I first spotted him it was simply because he has a very distinctive look. He is quite lean and athletic and a talented runner, so a fast and furious participant in many local races. However, what makes him stand out is that he has a well sculptured Mohican haircut. It’s a punk style where the sides of his head are shaved, and then he has a distinctive central strip of long hair down the middle. This is carefully combed vertically upwards and much gel and hair spray must be applied to keep it in place as he runs. Sometimes the Mohican hair is quite colourful –it used to be green, now it tends to be dyed jet black. In addition, he sports a lot of tattoos. His arms are heavily inked with various geometric designs, other shapes are marked on his shaved head and legs. If you just saw him, it is possible that you might feel quite intimidated by him at first glance, but once you know his story you will realise you shouldn’t be. Rather you should approach him and congratulate him and shake him by the hand.

Because The Mohican Runner runs and lives locally, I saw him around a lot. He, like me, is a regular attendee at my local Saturday morning 5 km parkrun. (Though unlike me he always finishes near the front!) About a year ago, I found out that he was setting himself some running challenges to raise money for some children’s charities. This caught my attention. Not content with seeking sponsorship for doing a single event, The Mohican Runner set himself the challenge of running a half-marathon every month for 13 months, the following year it was to run a race every weekend for a year. The challenges are in themselves impressive, but also not the point. It turns out that what drove this fundraising addiction was his own personal experience. He was himself the victim of really horrific physical child abuse when he was growing up. He was isolated, bullied and vulnerable. He was only able to escape his situation when certain charities got involved and intervened and he was then removed from his family. His story was so extreme it was used as the basis of a UK-wide funding appeal for a national charity. In later life, he was safe from the immediate abuse, but he was still psychologically damaged, he struggled with his weight and was isolated by his experiences in many ways. However, he managed to turn his life around. When he began running he was really unfit weighing some 20 stone, but he lost four stone within a year of starting to run. His extensive tattoos are to cover up the scars left on his body by horrific physical abuse. The fundraising is a personal obsession to ensure that other children might also find a way out of such extreme situations. When he runs, he really gives of himself.

His fundraising achievements are extraordinary, his story and efforts have raised somewhere around £1.3 million, which is an amazing sum of money. However, I believe it isn’t just that he has helped people through fundraising. I believe by being courageous enough to tell his story he reminds everyone of how important it is to be alert to the often hidden problem of child abuse. I think what he does is helpful beyond measure, because even without the fundraising, he is giving a voice to a section of society that is often completely powerless and without a voice to represent them at all. There are few things more powerful than hearing someone talk from personal experience. I think it must take extraordinary courage to tell and retell a painful story that I’m sure you would much prefer to be able to forget.

What’s more, I think he is an important role model. Of course, it hasn’t been easy for him, and I wouldn’t presume to say that he has emerged from his appalling ordeal unscathed, but nevertheless he has come out the other side. He is a force of nature in all he achieves, and is surely correctly called a survivor. He has turned his life around (losing weight, raising money, reinventing family life for himself) against seemingly impossible odds. That image is helpful and inspirational too. I understand he now is on the brink of becoming a semi-professional sportsperson, I really hope he does. He also has a job as a Lego figure designer (no really! I didn’t know such a job existed) which is surely also a career dream come true, but that’s another story.

Finally, I think his body image – the tattoos and the Mohican hairstyle are a helpful reminder not to judge people by their appearance and not to jump to conclusion. What he looks like may not suit everyone’s ideas of ‘proper’ presentation, but when you know why the tattoos are there (to cover scars) and why the Mohican hairstyle (to make him visible when running for charity) you will come to realise there is quite another story waiting to be heard.

So to conclude, I think the Mohican Runner has done an enormous amount to help people, in particular children who are victims of physical and sexual abuse who perhaps we would rather pretend weren’t there because their plight is hidden and it seems so impossible to comprehend and hard to help. He has helped by raising money; he has helped by making his own story public and he has helped by being a role model. He should be recognised for what he has done for others.  If you ever come to Sheffield do look out for him, you’ll spot him sooner or later I’m sure, he’s hard to miss, and he’s seemingly ‘always’ out and about, clocking up the miles, putting in the training and powering on for his favoured charities.

[ Written by - Lucy Marris (2016):  Careers Adviser (UK), TEFL teacher (Vietnam) ]


 

Sample Answer 2:
After being matured I came to know about lots of people who spent their entire life for humanity. Among them, the contributions of Mother Teresa undoubtedly are more than any other one.

In her life, Mother Teresa was a Roman Catholic nun and missionary. She had spent her entire life to care for the poor and destitute.  She passed a notable part of her life in India and was moved by the pathetic condition of the people living in streets. So, she established some of the shelter homes for them in different parts of India. She is also the founder of Missionaries of Charity, and this is a Roman Catholic religious group that helps the people in distress with all sorts of facilities including the arrangement of their medical treatment, rehabilitation etc. for free of cost.   

Mother Teresa was born on August 26 in 1910 in Skopje which is now the capital of the Republic of Macedonia. She was named as Agnes which resembled the little flower. Her father was a politician and she was the youngest of all the children. Her parents had met from two separate villages. Unfortunately, she lost her father at the age of eight. In her early childhood, she preferred to listen to stories of missionaries, their activities to remove grief of the people in different parts of the world. When she turned 12, she decided to devote her life for the humankind and when she was 18, she left home to join Sisters of Loreto. She had never met her family members again in her life after she left the home.

Mother Teresa did a lot of humanitarian works in her life. She learnt different languages to communicate directly with people in the Indian sub-continent. She played the role of a teacher in schools to teach students about numerous issues. She turned into a nun in 1931, and selected a name which she had to alter the spelling for another nun had the same name with the same spelling. She served for around 20 years at Loreto convent school in Calcutta. But the poorness, ill conditions and deaths of the poor people disturbed her seriously. So, she planned to help the distressed. Accordingly, she arranged for opening some shelters in Calcutta to help them. Nirmal Hriday is one of her shelters where the poverty-stricken, ill-fated people can have their treatments for some specific diseases and it is for free.  

She is a motherly figure in the world and has been admired even after her death. She is mostly famous for her charitable works and Missionaries of Charities which comes in helping of the destitute across the world. In her lifetime, she was awarded numerous prizes and in 1979 she won the Noble Prize in Peace. But some of her activities were under criticism like the hospitals she ran received a huge amount of donations but on the contrary, the service quality did not improve at all and there were shortages of medical care. Her life has been the subject of literature, documentaries and films. She has been portrayed as an affectionate character who served the humanity with great care and love. She really was an admirable woman of the world.

 

Part 3 – Two-way discussion:

Helping other people in the community:

Q. What are some of the ways people can help others in the community? Which is most important?

Q. Why do you think some people like to help other people?

Q. Some people say that people help others in the community more now than they did in the past. Do you agree or disagree? Why?

Community Services:

Q. What types of services, such as libraries or health centres, are available to the people who live in your area? Do you think there are enough of them?

Q. Which groups of people generally need the most support in a community? Why?

Q. Who do you think should pay for the services that are available to the people in a community? Should it be the government or individual people?

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