There’s a huge gap between young people and decision‐makers, and that needs changing. My volunteering has been inspired by my passion for youth voice. I caught the ‘bug’ for volunteering age 13, and since then have not looked back. In 2011, I was elected as a Youth MP and at 15, I founded the Big MK Youth Debate, after successfully applying for grants, including vInspired Cashpoint funding, and then I ran the event for three years. The Big MK Youth Debate forced local decision makers to listen to young people, whilst equipping the young people with the skills to allow them to stand up for what they believed in. I trained up a group of 20 volunteers to help run each of the events, and I am immensely proud of all of them.
These experiences have since taken me on an amazing adventure, from working with schools to deliver outstanding PSHE lessons, to speaking at parliamentary receptions and funders breakfasts, to leading three social action campaigns on vInspired’s leadership programme Team V.
Being part of vInspired has also meant recognition (I won vInspired’s Volunteer of the Month in April 2014!) and I’ve since become an ambassador for the charity. Social action has been great for putting on my CV, UCAS application and to discuss at interviews. Without doubt, it has made me the person I am today.