Charities, Green, Inspiring

Be The Change

For as long as I can remember I have always had a big passion for making a difference in the world. I know that I am incredibly lucky, I have been given so many blessings by God and I am truly thankful for all the amazing people and opportunities in my life. But I firmly believe that I should not just sit on those blessings and opportunities I believe that the gifts and talents given to me by God should be used to help benefit others less fortunate then me.

It all began when I was a child, my mother instilled in me the importance of helping others who are not as fortunate as me and to always be grateful for everything that I have. I became very passionate about helping others and when I was just 10 years old I organised my first charity event – a group of me and my friends went carol singing and we raised £70 for the RSPCA. And from then it spiralled, I organised multiple charity events, I volunteered with Sunday schools and rainbows and I actively campaigned in the fight against using trafficked children on coco bean farms (I still don’t buy nestle’s chocolate). When I was 16 I was appointed head of charities committee at my school and along with a group of volunteers from my school I organised and ran many different events from bake sales to fashion shows to talent contests raising over £10,000 over the 2 years I was chair.

My first charity event as head of the charities committee – A bake sale

Once I left school I had a bit of a difficult time, I didn’t know what I wanted to study at university and so I had taken a gap year but it turned out a lot harder to find a job then I thought. And with all my friends gone and a long term teenage relationship quickly dissolving I found myself sinking lower and lower. I spent my days on my laptop applying for job after job and it made me so depressed that I was just miserable, It was then that my Mum once again picked me up, brushed me off and sent me back out into the world. She suggested that I volunteer at the local city mission something that I wrote about here. This completely changed my world, I was finally useful, I was helping people who needed me and it felt great. I then started volunteering one day a week in a children’s hospice and then in the fundraising department of a charity that supports people with mental and physical disabilities to live independently.

Each day was spent doing something different to help others but I soon realised it wasn’t just about helping people. In actual fact I needed them as much as they needed me, they had given me a purpose in life, a reason for living and that was what I really needed. I discovered that the thing that really makes my heart sing was making a change in peoples lives.

Yes that is me dressed as Claire Bear for Claire House in a tea cup waving at children…….

After spending a month in India where I taught English and Drama to children with HIV I was all set to go to university to study Events Management with the hope of being able to work in a charity as head of fundraising. However, I think I already knew before I went that something had changed, that being up in an office raising money wasn’t actually what I wanted to do. I had realised being down on the floor, working directly with people getting into the knitty gritty was what I needed to do. So it was no surprise that within the first week I hated my degree and wanted to come home. I stayed for a year as my parents told me it might get better but I knew it wouldn’t and so I began to look at other options. That is when I fell upon the idea of social work. I am now just finishing my first year of my social work degree and its been really amazing, I am not sure exactly what I am going to do but I know I will do a job that makes a difference.

Me with some of my pupils in India

This first year at uni has been an amazing year of self discovery. I have discovered new and exciting things I am passionate about such as living a more green life and going back to a simpler way of living. But the thing I have really discovered over the past few years is that if you want things to change you have to be the change. That is one of my favourite all time quotes and I know it is cheesy and I know it is used a lot but I really do believe that its true. I have a lot of opinions and I am quite passionate about making a difference in all area’s of the world but it really wouldn’t make any difference if I didn’t act on them. If I didn’t stop to buy a homeless man dinner, or take the time to split my rubbish into recycling and general waste or if I didn’t willingly give up my time to volunteer with the elderly. None of the things that I talk about would make a difference if I didn’t do them to. To make a change it must start with you. If you want your town to be cleaner go and pick up rubbish once a week, if you want people to have enough food to eat go and donate some of your food and/or time to the local food bank, if you want people with disabilities to be treated fairly and humanely stop using words like “retard”. Be the change that you want to see and I am sure that eventually that change will begin to happen. It all starts with us.  

Bye for now!

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