Alison Birch

Age 13, Shropshire

I’ve always found it odd that adults should get to make decisions about young people without even asking them what they think. So when I heard about the NHS’ Shropshire Young Health Champions through my local youth club, I jumped at the chance to get involved.

It’s a group of young people working on health projects to make people in Shropshire healthier and happier. In March 2014 I completed my training, and I’ve spent the last year supporting my fellow Champions on various projects and campaigns.

We try and think of creative ways to solve local healthcare issues, like with the children’s unit at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford. It’s the first time teenagers are getting their own space in the hospital, so our job is to make sure it’s suitable for people our age. I love working with the rest of my group and getting to meet local businesses who are often keen to support what we’re doing by sponsoring us.

Not only have I helped improve healthcare services in Shropshire, but I’ve also gained a lot of confidence. I hope I can inspire others to try volunteering too, and give young people a say in services that are meant for them.

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