Meet Tiger - A Right Here volunteer since 2018
I have always had advocacy and charity at my core. Aged 12, I began this journey by organising a ‘Giving back’ campaign devised of essentials and a yearly harvest food collection to be donated to the local homeless shelters/food banks. Being 12 and stood in front of my highly deprived school, it’s safe to say I didn’t expect it to take off. 1,000 shoe boxes later and a lorry load of food, I witnessed first-hand the power that one voice can have when it is given a platform. Since this first campaign, I have started anti-bullying campaigns, volunteered in a Women’s Refuge, protested for different causes close to my heart and even travelled to Ecuador alongside MeToWe on an education programme. Alongside this, unfortunate circumstances saw my awareness and advocacy for mental health come alive. Held incredibly close to my heart, this is something I advocate in my day-to-day.
I moved to Brighton three years ago to study Sociology and I found out about YMCA Right Here through the University. I’d been desperately seeking out an organisation to volunteer for and as soon as I looked into the work that the Right Here team were doing, I was sold. I started with Right Here as someone who often struggled to speak to a group and now it’s difficult to get me to stop. Humour aside, Right Here and the wider YMCA community not only foster and encourage my passions and provide me with a platform to have a voice but they have become family; a unit which has enhanced my confidence and helped to shape the person I always hoped to be.
I have been a Youth Ambassador at Right Here for almost 2 years and have recently been given the incredible opportunity to act as a national YMCA Youth Ambassador. Throughout my time I have thrown myself into as many projects as possible and deeply value each and every one. However, I am particularly proud of the #IAMWHOLE project as I feel it is a prime example of what we do best; facilitating young people to promote and better wellbeing.
Outside of our little corner, I still find myself amazed by the ever-growing work that YMCA does nationally. The dedication to accommodate, support, educate and empower young people and the wider community is admirable, and the people who enable this are truly unsung heroes. The opportunities and skills that Right Here have given me are life-changing and I am ever more excited for my future within Right Here.