Katie-Mae, 18 from Consett, County Durham is an Our Bright Future ‘Green Leader’ and newly recruited Groundwork apprentice whose involvement in the programme has not only raised her environmental awareness but her confidence too.
"I heard about Our Bright Future from a friend at the youth club that I go to. I was keen to get involved because I wanted to gain more experience with youth work and learn more about the environment.
"We’ve done some brilliant work with Our Bright Future so far, including a bat walk, sustainability days and a tree plant. I also attended a residential which was good as it helped me to expand my knowledge on sustainability and has made me more environmentally aware. It’s made me realise that you really can make a difference help to prevent climate change. It feels great to call myself a ‘Green Leader’!
"When I was younger I knew I wanted to work with children and young people, but it wasn’t until I started volunteering that I realised youth work was something that interested me. Before I started, I was really shy but I have since felt myself really grow in confidence. Volunteering has allowed me to break down barriers and has helped me feel better as a person.
"Since joining Our Bright Future I have started to work for Groundwork as a Youth Work Apprentice. I’m faced with different challenges every day and it can be stressful, but it’s so rewarding, especially when I can help other young people find a job.
"I would definitely encourage more young people to get involved as it gives you so many opportunities to learn and gain true life experiences.
"It wasn’t for volunteering; I wouldn’t be who I am today – and I’m never going to look back."