In a past life, many of you may know, I was a teacher and I’m really pleased to say I have not lost my connection, or my drive, to empower young people.
I love to see youngsters with energy and commitment. I have always believed it’s important to explore our boundaries, particularly when young. We can learn so much. Best to be on the front foot I say, and learn, rather than just let life pass us by.
My take is that any positive action, is an investment in one’s self. Probably the best investment we can ever make! Particularly, if we can then use our zest to help others.
So, it was Blue Sky’s pleasure to assist two young people who are determined to get out there and make a difference.
Both Betsy Lake and Kirsteen Ross are an inspiration. Both are travelling overseas, here’s a little bit about them;
Betsy is on ‘The Gorilla Trek’. She embarked on her charitable work not just because it allowed her to make a direct, positive difference in the world but also to travel to Africa too, a place she had never been before.
Betsy valued learning about different cultures and enjoyed playing her part with the East African Playgrounds Charity. It’s wonderful that she managed to fundraise £3000 for them! We were pleased to have helped Betsy achieve this and the photos she shared with us look like she was in her element. Note the Blue Sky t-shirt!
Kirsteen, on the other hand, has decided to embark upon fund raising in preparation for a placement year volunteering with VSO. VSO are a non-governmental, non-profit, citizen-based organisation which aims to eradicate poverty across the globe.
Kirsteen’s first placement is to be in Tanzania for 3 months, working with young women helping them get access to resources that would not usually be afforded to them.
Kirsteen needed to raise £800 for VSO, and her strategy was to ‘think big’! She decided to combine her love of music with this goal and organise an indie/rock music event at the Joiners venue in Southampton. With six well-known bands coming from all across the UK, these were hot tickets indeed! I know only too well how much time and effort goes into organising a vibrant evening of entertainment, so it seemed really fitting to help Kirsteen achieve her fundraising target.
The energy and motivation these two young people have is impressive. I hope that when they return from their travels and have had time to reflect on their experiences I can ask them to share some of their thoughts with us in a blog or two, so we can all gain an insight into what they learnt about themselves and others.
Talking about motivations, I’m pleased to share with you that I have recently become an Ambassador for the Dorset Chamber of Commerce. I’ve been inspired by the vitality and determination of the Chief Executive, Ian Girling, who is really making a difference. Supported of course, by an equally passionate team.
Enthusiasm is infectious and I have been honoured to become a supporter of the Dorset Young Chamber of Commerce, helping young people to transition from school life into the place of work.
I believe in the Young Chamber so much, I have even volunteered my wife to help them for two days a week. Nice of me, don’t you think?! In all seriousness, Sandra’s also really enjoying making a positive difference to young people.
What are you doing to make a difference to those around you, or further afield? I’d love to hear your stories.
Gary Neild B.Sc.Hons. DipIP PFA