Volunteering with Eikon
In secondary school I was considered ‘normal’, someone who did their work and someone the school had no concerns about. But after a tough time in my first year of secondary school, I found myself feeling very depressed and scared of what the future may hold. I started having negative thoughts and questions about who I was and why I was so different.
In Year 8, it only started to get worse. Kids started saying horrible things to me in the playground. Inside my mood, anger and upset were getting worse. I was battling to try and get help – but just couldn’t.
When I was 11, I found out lunch clubs were running in ‘the blue buildings in the corner of the school’, I thought I’d give it a try. The Eikon lunch clubs were an invaluable space to me throughout my time at Fullbrook School. They were a space to go where no one judged you, a space where you could be yourself. In Year 9 I also started to see an Eikon Youth Worker one-to-one, they helped me combat my anxiety and depression and boost my confidence. By the time Year 10 came around I felt so much happier, and even though I had the occasional bad week, I’d made so much progress and I have Eikon to thank for that.
But Year 11 was tough. I started to suffer with my depression again, was having arguments at home, and was stressed and anxious about my final year of GCSEs. I got help from a different Eikon Youth Worker who pointed me in the right direction. I felt back on track and made great progress with my GCSEs, and was even able to take on a Young Leader role with Eikon helping to run lunch clubs – this was a big milestone for me and overcoming my anxiety.
Since then, I became a Volunteer stepping up to helping supervise and run garden clubs for young people. I’m also now a Volunteer Mentor providing one-to-one support and passing on the different strategies I learnt to other young people who may benefit from them. I’m doing all of this while now studying at University.
In February 2023, I was incredibly pleased to be awarded Young Volunteer of the Year in the Runnymede Civic Awards! The best part of being a volunteer is seeing all the young people learning new skills with a ‘learn by doing’ approach in the garden. Seeing the positive impact these services have on young people, and knowing that mentoring is really making a difference.
Getting help from Eikon has really given me the confidence to do what I do today. I can’t thank Eikon enough for the support they have given me and I’m glad that Eikon has given me the opportunity to help young people through lunch clubs and mentoring sessions today – long may it continue!
Could you volunteer for Eikon?
“I cannot sing David’s praises highly enough. He has overcome significant challenges in his own life, and now helps others in the same boat to feel valued, encouraged and hopeful.”
Chris Hickford MBE,
Founder and Chief Executive of Eikon