What are your areas of special interest / particular skills?

I am a qualified youth worker with over 10 years’ experience in working with young people from challenging backgrounds and the youth service. I am currently employed as a Young Persons’ Peer Mentor and my role is to help young people overcome barriers into employment, education, training and work experience.

I am aware that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect and that we all have different wants and needs in life. My job is to establish their needs and wants and work on developing them to help a young person get the absolute best out of life.

What do you enjoy most about your role with Barod?

I absolutely love my job! What I most enjoy is seeing the change in the young people whom I work with. I get to meet new people who are undergoing tremendous amounts of difficulties and just need that one person to lift them up and give them the positive guidance they need to be successful in life- and I am proud to be that person. I love seeing people achieve things they initially thought they never could, and helping them overcome barriers. The change I see in the young people is phenomenal.

I also love working for Barod in general! My team, colleagues and management are amazing and Barod is the best company I have ever worked for. They truly are supportive and understanding and without that I wouldn’t wake up every day being happy to go to work.

What is it like to work in your area of Wales or in your specific service?

I cover Rhondda Cynon Taff and Merthyr- it is a very diverse area to cover. I love it. I get to meet people from all walks of life with completely different backgrounds, experiences and challenges. It is a challenge living in a rather remote hard to reach area, particularly higher up in the valley, but I am able to meet the young people locally in a safe and public place; so they are never at a loss of being able to access our service.

Please tell us about your average day.

My day consists of having one-to-one appointments which are tailored to suit the individual young person. Sometimes they may bring someone along with them which is fine. I usually have a general chat asking how their week has been, if they have had any issues or difficulties and then discuss the positives of the week. I normally do some goal planning with them and a small task to complete by the following week- which gives them something to focus on. I may also speak with other organisations, scouting job opportunities or available courses and look to find suitable opportunities for the young people I work with and share this information with them. I have also attended health assessments, helped get them registered with a GP, attend volunteering recruitment events or even job’s fairs which is a brilliant way to network and build a relationship with other professional organisations. Two days are never the same in my role- it’s amazing!

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

If today is your absolute worst day ever, then tomorrow can only be better! Never never never give up!