Before I started doing my Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards around three years ago, I had hardly any confidence and didn’t socialise much outside school. I decided to get involved mainly because I wanted to go camping, not realising just how much of an impact it would have on my life. Now, I feel like a completely different person. As part of my Bronze and Silver Awards I volunteered for Phab Hounslow, a local youth club encouraging people of all abilities to come together on equal terms. I now spend 10 hours a week volunteering there, helping young people build communication and life skills, and it’s inspired me to become a youth worker. I’m currently studying for my BTEC Level 3 extended diploma in Health and Social Care, as well as working towards my Gold Award.
The volunteering has definitely been my favourite part of the Awards and has given me a real purpose. If it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t be where I am today, which is why I’m passionate about getting young people at Phab Hounslow doing their Awards too. We’ve got our own group and our disabled members have the opportunity to complete their Expedition by canoe, which I hope to do for my Gold Award.