Age 16, Essex
Making a difference to others is a big part of my life. I’m a member of Epping Forest Youth Council, improving services and challenging negative stereotypes of young people in the local area. Just recently at the local church, I read the names of local people who had died in the First World War, and laid a wreath on behalf of the Youth Council. I’m also part of the Police Commissioners Forum, working to reduce youth crime, and I’m hoping to start an anti-bullying project for teenagers soon too.
But I think my greatest social action achievement is swimming the English Channel last year in a teenage relay team to fundraise for the Teenage Cancer Trust. It was tough – for four months, I spent seven hours a week training for it. But it was so worthwhile, because we raised £3,500 and learnt a lot in the process, like how to keep going even when things are hard. Swimming is a real passion of mine, and I volunteer every week to help children learn to swim. It’s a brilliant way to develop my leadership skills and help others at the same time!