Children In Need changed my life. I wasn’t a child who benefitted from their funds, I was a project manager with a team of dedicated people who had risked their livelihoods to become members of the Third Sector, where no-one had a permanent job and everyone was working for the goodof people worse off than themselves.
I’m no saint – I applied for a job at a community media group because it was a job I saw as easy. I had no idea. I got a job as manager of Halton Access to Media. The organisation aimed to help all people in the deprived ward of Halton to increase their skills and self-esteem through radio and film making. I’m sure some people will see that as wishy-washy so let me give you some real examples.
Amy (19) was severely disabled and would rarely speak, even to only one person. After working with our project she actually presented her own live radio show which went out to over 10,000 people and learned skills such as money management and form filling. Her life was transformed.
Martin (23) was intelligent but had limited social skills. He had never had a job since leaving school at 16 because he found it difficult to relate to people. During our course he tapped in to a creative writing streak and ended up getting his first ever job. Now he’s engaged and starting his own family.
Those are just two examples of dozens of young people who benefitted from our Children In Need funded project. The great thing about CIN is that they really understand children and young people and what benefits them. They know that self-esteem and fun are at the heart of everything which really enriches their lives. Young carers, disabled young people, children in care, autistic, excluded and vulnerable children who had been abandoned by everyone else, they grew in personality, skills and confidence and were able to have at least an hour a week where they could express themselves, laugh and learn.
After working at Halton Access to Media I realised how rewarding it can be to work with young people. I had previously been rather self-absorbed, as the media industry sometimes required. Suddenly I cared more about the future of the young people and children I worked with than my own. It felt so good that I trained as a teacher and now I work with young people full time. I would never have considered doing this if it weren’t for Children In Need, so please – give them a pound and know that you have made a huge difference in their lives.
I will try to itemise this for you -
£2 will pay for a young person to use public transport to get to a project that might be the best thing that happens to them that week.
£7 will pay an hour’s wages for a youth worker
£10 will pay for lunch for 5 young people attending a project. It might seem like nothing, but some are so poor they will come just for the food, and get the training and self-esteem boost incidentally.
Children In Need money goes towards the dreams and aspirations of our children and young people. They fund unpopular projects which actually make a difference. If it weren’t for them I would probably still be working for my own benefit instead of working with young people to support and help them. Our young people are our future, and it is still our job to protect and help them. Please give to Children In Need tonight.