This week I began my position as a fund-raiser for one of Britain’s largest and oldest charities. For the last 150 years, Barnardos has been dealing with the sensitive issues facing young people in the UK. With Ramadan over, my aim is to break the stigma that students are lazy by actively getting involved in life changing practices.
In the UK there are approximately 700,00 reported young carers, some as young as 12, who look after a severely ill family member. No child should have to face this massive responsibility alone without any support. I was shocked to hear that the average age of a sexually exploited person in this nation is 13; no child deserves to have their innocence stolen from them. This prompted me to stand alongside Barando’s in their quest to assist these children through over 800 tailored services. By providing outreach projects, counselling sessions and mentoring schemes, they offer a helping hand to those affected. These help to foster the creativity of our young, whilst also empowering them to overcome the psychological barriers to success. If we help a person realise their self-worth at a young age, they’ll grow up to become happier, confident, more independent citizens in society.
In my eyes, volunteering is the best way to gain more experiences that will help develop and strengthen your social skills. By fund-raising, you end up learning how to adapt in all environments whilst also mastering the art of rejection, (which is key for university if not life in general). Ultimately every donation is an investment that will help identify, rehabilitate and support a struggling child by giving them the tools to secure their own future. It’s up to us to stop the corruption of our most vulnerable; by protecting the innocence of the voiceless we can help break this vicious cycle of oppression.
As there’s no official ‘Barnardo’s Society’ at our university, you can be the first to champion this cause by starting one up next year.