Recently I took annual leave in USA. I met with old friends and made some new. I also caught up with a very special lady in Tallahassee. Anna and I ‘met’ by chance over the internet while we were both receiving chemotherapy. For both of us it was our second encounter with cancer and we supported each other via the web throughout our treatment and recovery, continuing contact while Anna then recovered from a heart attack.
This meeting in Tallahassee was emotional. Hearing about Anna’s life was even more moving - a single mum bringing up her son, with an amazing dedication and compassion for all young people and her local community despite a 10 year battle with her own health.
Listening to Anna’s story is proof to me that we all have the ability to make a real difference despite what life throws at us.
In my role as General Manager at A Way Out I see daily the very real value of our volunteer support to our prevention work with vulnerable women and young people in Stockton.
Without the help of volunteers A Way Out could not provide our outreach and engagement services which prevent further harm, exploitation and life limiting choices and behaviours to some of Stockton’s most vulnerable.
We asked young people who engaged with A Way Out’s Youth Service how it has changed their lives, they said “I was shy, now I’m not”… ”I was scared, now I’m not”… “I didn’t like myself, but now I do”.