I currently work as a Youthspace youth board project support worker. The youth board is a group of young people aged 16-25 years old, with similar experiences that work on different projects to promote awareness and understanding of mental health issues for young people. They are a key voice in setting the direction for the Youthspace partnership programme by being involved in the design, development and evaluation of all Youthspace projects and services. I started as a volunteer on the youth board and was then given the opportunity to apply for a full time paid role to support the coordination of all projects and act as a representative of the youth board across Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (BSMHFT) youth services. In my role I work across the BSMHFT and Prince’s Trust Youthspace partnership in Birmingham, West Midlands.
My passion and commitment to working within the field of youth mental health stems from my own experiences of mental health issues. Since the age of 14 I have suffered with mental health problems, been in the care system, spent 6 months in hospital, been excluded from schools and have been homeless. At 19 years old I was referred to the Prince’s Trust Fairbridge programme and Youthspace. I am now 21 years old and have a full time job where I can use my experiences in a positive way and champion youth involvement in improving services for young people. I am also on the Big Lottery Fund national youth panel. If it wasn’t for Youthspace and the Prince’s Trust Fairbridge programme giving me the opportunities they have I wouldn’t be here today.
I am huge music fan and I also like being creative, I make great bunting!