What do you do when you are not working for Inspira and NCS?

I am a 2nd-year student at the University of York, studying Sociology.

Why did you decide to apply for an NCS role?

I completed NCS as a participant in 2016. It helped me so much that I was determined to work as a staff member and help deliver some of the amazing experiences I had to other young people in my area!

What was your most rewarding experience working on the NCS?

When I was working over the summer, one of the boys in my team was incredibly shy at the start of the first week. He had very low confidence in himself and his abilities, and he struggled to join in group activities. However, the other young people in my team were amazingly supportive and strived to involve him as much as possible in the team activities. Even in free time, I was aware that they were spending time with him, getting him to play games.
It was rewarding to see a group of young people being so kind, positive, and non-judgemental. The bonds they built over three weeks were just incredible. Recently I was driving through Carlisle; I saw some of the young people walking out of college together with that young lad who had been so shy at the start! It showed that the friendships they'd formed in that short time in the summer were genuine, and it made me so happy!

My inspirational story

I lost my grandad two years ago this month; he was like a dad to me; my grandparents pretty much raised my brother and me, as my mum worked full time, and my dad wasn't around much. My grandparents were so supportive of me through my time at school, and they were so pro-education. They both attended St Andrews University, and their dedication and hard work through their time as students and in their later lives have inspired me to try my absolute best in everything I do, and not to be deterred by failures.

When I lost my Grandad, my life could have gone one of two ways - at the time, I wasn't in the best place mentally, and I was losing track of who I was. However, I knew that my Grandad would have been so annoyed if I let his passing distract me from my A-Level studies. With that thought in mind, I worked even harder, and now to this day, if I'm having a bad day or something is getting me down, he continually inspires me to push through and do my best.

This message is something I try and promote when working with young people, particularly on NCS, as the young people involved are at such an important stage in their lives where hard work and determination are crucial for them!

Words to live by

"Everything happens for a reason" - even if you don't understand the reason at the present moment, it will become clear eventually. It might be the worst thing ever, and you feel like you can't cope with whatever happened, it has a reason, and you will be okay!