Age 18,Cookstown, Northern Ireland
My social action journey began in 2012 when I started volunteering at a local café run by young people with special needs, and since then I haven’t looked back. My work has since evolved to a mentoring and counselling role, as I began to volunteer in my school and then with Macmillan, Childline and Barnardo’s.
Without social action, I wouldn’t have had the chance to speak, listen to and empower so many young people with concerns like relationships, sexuality, family, and mental health, an issue which I feel passionately about.
Currently, I’m a Kinship Care volunteer to help children and their caregivers, alongside my continued work with Macmillan at Antrim Hospital, with Childline as an email counsellor, and with Barnardo’s undergoing training to be a Young Carers Service Volunteer. This year, I’ll start my studies in Social Work at Queen’s University Belfast.
My work in social action has gone from strength to strength over the past few years – I went on an expedition to Romania with School Aid in 2015 – and I’ve grown so much as a person in that time. I have a better insight into society now and I’m more confident in my own abilities. It can be hard dealing with sensitive issues, but the reward it gives far outweighs the negatives.