As a support worker at the Horizons service, I feel honoured to be in a position where I can help young people gain positive opportunities.
I graduated last year with a Sociology and Criminology degree and, during my studies, I developed an interest in working with young people who have experienced different barriers and challenges. During my final year I completed research which involved me interviewing youth workers on their perceptions of young people’s risk surrounding substance use; how they perceive the influence of environments; and young people’s agency when contextualising risk.
Through carrying out this research, I realised how much I would like to work with young people once I gained my university degree and started thinking of ways I could get into this career.
To gain experience, I volunteered at a local charity youth project which encouraged high school children to take part in a variety of activities in after school hours. The youth club included drop-ins, radio shows and group work. During this time, I also started working as an adults’ mental health support worker. Working as a support worker focussed on mental health opened my eyes to the effects of schizophrenia and the challenges individuals with this diagnosis face daily, but I loved meeting the different people, feeling that I’d made a positive difference by valuing them and their choices.
In my spare time, I enjoy arts and crafts activities such as painting and photography, having recently started experimenting with 35mm film. I hope that I can encourage young people in the service to be more artistic and express themselves through creative ways, which can be very therapeutic and benefit mental health. Staying fit and healthy is something I also have always cared about. I hope to be able to provide information to people we support based on the knowledge I have gained over the years and create a fun mindset towards health. I’m looking forward to carrying on my role with Horizons and help young people meet their goals and aspirations, but also to gain conf idence.