Callum is one of our fantastic volunteers. He has recently secured a part-time Youth Work job with Nottinghamshire County Council. Read his Blog below about his journey:
My journey into NUH Youth Service started when I was 12 years old. Back then I was a socially awkward boy who would rather tackle someone on a football pitch and take their ankles out than speak to someone and have a conversation; oh how times have changed! Now I am a 22 year old young man who has two part time jobs, one of which is in a youth work setting and I can talk for England…to anybody!
Now I bet you are thinking that is quite a change within ten years and I would agree with you and it’s all thanks to the wonderful NUH Youth Service and their continued support.
As I have said I came to a youth club session when I was 12; the honest truth was it wasn’t for me back then I really wasn’t someone for meeting new people and making friends quickly. Five years later at the age of 17 I decided to come back and if I’m honest I’m not quite sure what made me come back at the time but honestly it was the best decision I have ever made! I got involved in all aspects of the youth service from the youth club, Lego group, skills for life sessions, youth forum and young adult group. This time not only did I make friends but I met friends which I’m pretty sure will be lifelong friendships!
Also thanks to the youth service I have had lots of training opportunities that I know I would otherwise not have had. I have been fortunate enough to experience going on some very exciting trips and residential holidays. These have really helped me gain valuable life skills and experience new activities that I’ll remember for the rest of my life. My first time going to Wales, which is an annual trip we do every year, will stay in my head forever. At this point I was still a young person who was experiencing going away without their family for the first time, I don’t think anyone could tell because I had the time of my life and felt very comfortable around everyone.
In 2017 the Youth Service gave me the opportunity to do a youth work course and become a peer mentor. This was a very exciting opportunity for me as I had previously expressed my desire to them about eventually wanting to begin a career in youth work myself. Through the youth work course I got to learn all about the different theories behind youth work and learn all about reflecting on your practice and generally get a better understanding of what youth work is all about.
The Youth Service has given me a lot of confidence to go on to achieve a lot of what I have done today. In November of 2017 I had the honour of receiving The Leckie Award of Achievement which honours a young adult who has moved into the adult’ services from the children’ services within the hospital, I found this very humbling. Also earlier in that year, again thanks to the Youth Service, I got to do a presentation in front of 130 nurses and other medical professionals explaining what the youth service is all about and how it helps to support young people, this was a huge honour and quite a big learning curve for me as I realised at that point that ‘I can’!
Since doing the youth work course my confidence has gone from strength to strength and I have really enjoyed moving up from peer mentor to volunteer this past year. During 2018 I have experienced my first full year of being a volunteer and have very much enjoyed the experience and having the extra responsibility that came with that.
The NUH Youth Service has supported me so much over the years, in parts with my own medical condition but in the main helping me to see that ‘I can do’ anything I want to if only I just try, for this I can’t thank them enough! I wouldn’t be in the position I am in now if it wasn’t for them and I now proudly say to all who will listen that I am too a very active (and talkative) part of a fantastic service!