Mattea's Story

matteaI grew up as a young carer for my single mum, living in hotels and poor housing. I have numerous chronic illnesses which I have been struggling with since I was 9 that at times have left me bedridden or confined to a wheelchair. I missed out on secondary school and had to drop out of college for health reasons which was heart breaking. There are a lot of jobs I just can’t physically do, because I find it so exhausting.  

Despite all of this, I volunteer as my way to give back to the community. I dedicate my volunteering to Girl Guiding as a Rainbow and Brownie leader, and I am currently working as a Youth Worker at The Hive Youth Zone . This is so important to me. I love how I can help children and young people, be a role model and support them during tough times. I like the idea of being who I needed when I was younger.  

The Young Women’s Trust has also provided me with invaluable coaching and I am a member of the Young Women’s Trust Advisory Panel. Seeing what the other girls have achieved made me realise that I also have potential, and the coaching made me realise that I am far more capable than I had given myself credit for. When I think about my future, it is tough because it is so unpredictable due to my health, but I hope that no matter what happens I can still focus on being the best that I can be, along with supporting young people in my community.   

Winning this Award has given me a sense of pride in myself I didn’t think I would ever have, and made me reflect on where I have come from to get here and more importantly where I am going in the future.