South East regional winners
Congratulations to the following South East regional award winners!
Best new volunteer
Jamie was born with severe learning disabilities and attended a special needs school until he was 16. He recently began volunteering with NACRO as a football Referee. The NACRO project is set up to provide football based activities during the evening periods for young people to engage in positive activities. Jamie was recently successful in passing the Essex FA Refereeing course - the first person with severe learning disabilities to pass this course.
Overall commitment to volunteering
Amy volunteers at a school for children with learning and physical disabilities, as well as volunteering at the school library, at a centre for the elderly and a local nursery, working with children aged between 2 and 5.
As if this is not enough, Amy is also dedicated to karate and has gradually worked her way up to become a volunteer instructor, where she helps to teach a karate class once a week.
Ethan is a youth worker for youth charity, XLP. He has also set up and launched a not-for-profit youth enterprise called Vessel Works. This involves working with young people aged 16 plus and seeking to empower them through the use of music, media and mentoring.
Ethan feels that he would always encourage others to volunteer. He believes that there is a great lesson to learn by giving without the expectation of receiving. He says, ‘You get a different level of joy and satisfaction from that type of work you do."
Allsorts Youth Project
Brighton based Allsorts Youth Project is a team of volunteers aged between 16 and 26. It's a peer-education project that supports young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or unsure of their sexuality or gender identity.
The LGBT Youth Peer Educators help run LGBT Awareness training for adult workers and workshops about sexuality and gender identity for young people at local schools, colleges and youth projects. The Peer Educators speak about their personal experiences of growing up as LGBT young people and the impact that homo/bi/transphobic language and bullying has had on them'
Bringing communities together
Sophie Ann Harajda
Although Sophie, 16, from Kent only began volunteering in July 2011, she is astounded at the impact it has had, not only to others but in her own life as well. Sophie suffered both physical and emotional bullying at school. It was through Beatbullying that she heard about an organisation called Future You, which offers guidance to young people aged between 14 and 25.
Sophie became a peer-mentor for them in 2011 and has never looked back. She helps young people with important decisions in their lives; by helping them to choose courses, find a way back into education and offering general advice. She also mentors people with low confidence, which is something she says she can really relate to.