Age 16, Belfast, Northern Ireland
I’m a junior volunteer in my local community centre – I started volunteering when I was 14 as a way of giving back to my local community and inspiring young children, just as I was inspired when I was their age. In all, I’ve given over 250 hours of my time volunteering at the centre. I regularly use the centre’s Facebook page to update our community on our social action projects, a great way of connecting with local people.
Our programmes are vital in keeping children off the streets in an area where antisocial behaviour is prevalent – they can develop their skills and receive emotional support. I’m proud to be a peer mentor, having achieved my OCN Level 1 in Peer Mentoring.
As a result of my community work I was selected for a cross-community programme, Children For Peace. I meet regularly with 11 other volunteers from across Greater Belfast to encourage dialogue about the prominent religious divide in Northern Ireland. We also have links with the USA, allowing us to travel and experience religious diversity in another country.
As a Rank Foundation scholar and an #iwill Ambassador, I hope to continue spreading the word about social action and helping to support and encourage young people.