It’s been almost five years since I first started volunteering with Leatherhead Youth Project (LYP) and it continues to be one of the best decisions that I’ve ever made! I’d been looking for a way to contribute to the community that I live in and volunteering with LYP has been a wonderful way to give something back to Leatherhead.

I regularly volunteer at LYP’s Girls Group which provides a safe space for the girls to be themselves and along with sessions on important topics, I’ve also had the pleasure in leading baking and cake decorating workshops to give a much needed creative outlet.

Alongside Girls Group, I’ve also taken part in three Freestyle residential trips and have fond memories of each one! Although tiring, it’s so worth it and such a rewarding experience to see the young people all come together and be children again. As a regular volunteer I’ve found Freestyle to be a beneficial way to build those strong connections and it makes a big difference when returning to the regular groups.

Over the last five years I’ve seen some of the young people go all the way from year 7 to year 11 and it’s been amazing to see how they’ve changed and the obstacles they’ve overcome as they figure out the best versions of themselves.

It’s so exciting to think that LYP is celebrating it’s 15th year and I can’t wait for what the future will hold for this fantastic charity and the huge difference it will continue to make in so many young peoples’ lives.