“I studied geography at university and have always been interested in the environment and climate change. When I left university I started to look around for opportunities that matched my passions and found Changemakers.
“Changemakers believe that all young people have leadership potential and want to help to unlock it. I took part in a five-day leadership residential course in Chester. The first three-days were values based, which helped me to gain an insight into what motivates me and why certain things are so important to me. The idea here is that if young people get to know what their values are they can go on to develop the skills that will help them to be effective leaders.
“I think this is important because the word leader can be quite scary to some young people and seem authoritarian. But if a young person can be encouraged to feel that they also have something to contribute they can be supported to explore it and see the world of leadership is not closed off to them. Being a leader doesn’t necessarily have to mean leading hundreds or thousands of people – you can be a leader on a smaller scale to a small group of people.
“I’m really passionate about the project I’m working on with Groundwork because I’ve been given a lot of opportunities to develop these skills and want to give other young people the same opportunities that I’ve benefited from. I was quite fortunate but I realise that’s not the case for everyone and I want to help all young people to be able to express themselves.“
Laura, 22, is working with Groundwork to create a national network of people under the age of 24 that will come together to act as advocates for young people across the UK.