I first came across Groundwork when I lived in Crumpsall. There wasn’t much going on there. After school I’d just sit around and play some PlayStation, that was until I heard about Groundwork running a youth session in the local area.

I ended up joining the youth centre and initially it was just to have fun but it later turned into something more; something which sparked a passion, something which would shape my future.

The environmental voluntary work we did each at the centre week gave me a passion to do something with my life that involved nature, I realised that I didn’t want to sit in an office job for the rest of my life.

Whether it was gardening or litter picking; the activities we did with Groundwork showed me how to get along with others in the team and the environmental focus pushed me towards a career I was a little bit unsure of.

I was 16 when I joined the youth centre, six years of volunteering later and I’m still actively involved in my community and with Groundwork.

I recently completed 130 hours of voluntary service at a work placement in Groundwork’s office in the Trafford Ecology Park, something made possible through my previous volunteering.

During this time I worked with the Sustainable Business team and learnt a whole new area of work! I completed a NVC surveying to identify the different habitat types in the Ecology Park and which of them are suited to different animals and presented the results to the whole office at the end of my placement.

Volunteering has pushed me towards my future career options and choices that I would like to make. I’m now studying environmental management at University so I’m hoping to do something ecological related in the future.