The Youth Association has helped me loads in the last 12 months. I have come very far in just over a year and it has changed me as a person and I look at things with a different perspective. When I first started I suffered with anxiety and a lack of confidence and it was so hard to meet new people. With the help of The Youth Association, I went to Northern Collage and did a confidence course. I really enjoyed going and it changed me as a person. I have learned how to deal with my anxiety and don’t suffer as much as I did over a year ago and that’s all down to working with The Youth Association and I am happy to be a volunteer and it is changing my life completely.

My work with The Youth Association is going really well and I am doing the Youth Work award qualification, which is my dream job. In this last year, I have been working with the association to form a self-sustained group in my local community centre, which is a girls group. I like to run the sessions that explore what they like or want to do, thinking about activities we have done, team building, arts and crafts and cooking inside and out. These sessions build on young people’s development and are activities which give young people a chance to build life skills. We also have regular half-hour chats at the beginning of our sessions about day-to-day life, which they love to do as they are able to air any frustrations or difficulties they may be having or positive things they have done and get support from the whole group and their friends. We also do community events to help the community which they live in and it helps our group build relationships with the local community.

There have been several litter-picks round the community, movie nights and a community event for fundraising for people in the community to go on a trip. We did gardening at the community centre the girls attend and held an event where families in Lundwood helped with a graffiti project, painting a large shipping container to demonstrate what their community centre means to them.

I have met so many new people and a local council member who are supporting me and our other volunteers to run the project without the help of The Youth Association in 2019.

In the near future I want to be working full time with young people and start to change their lives as well.