April 2008 and I was in school in year 9 and a member of Medway Youth Parliament. Connexions Kent & Medway within Medway became just Connexions Medway and Medway Youth Trust was born. At my school, we had two PA's one intensive and one career PA. This was the beggining of my love for MYT.
The intensive PA at my school, Lesley Conquest, was always the adult I would run to when I was upset, angry or in distress. She would make me laugh, sometimes i'd cry and she listened. She never told me what to do.
I then, left school. I started college - but it wasn't the right thing for me, personally. I would drop out.
I went to Medway Youth Trust and they were running the first of many Princes Trust Team Programmes. Again, Medway Youth Trust provided the support I needed.
Steve Hutson, who I met at several Medway Youth Parliament meetings when he came to visit, came to the Team Programme. He spoke about the (then new) Medway Youth Trust Youth Forum. I then joined.
It was by now 2011. The Youth Stage at Medway's Love Music, Hate Racism was in it's debut year. Catriona Jamieson - Programmes Manager at Medway Youth Trust approached me and asked me to present the youth stage. As Love Music, Hate Racism is my favourite festival, I said yes. That year, Rosie Smith and myself presented the youth stage. It was a brilliant time.
Forward to September 2011. Rosie and myself become the first Youth Trustees at Medway Youth Trust. A Trustee is a director of a charity and this was a huge responsibilty. We both enjoyed representing the views of young people. I became so passionate about youth participation.
Fast forward to July 2012 and I get asked by Catriona Jamieson to volunteer on National Citizens Service (it was still in it's trial period) and I did. Even though the programme was being run by Catch 22, Graham Clewes let myself and Catriona take time out to do this. It was this that escolated my passion to see young people succeed. Then January 2013, I found myself homeless.
Medway Youth Trust came to the rescue. I had a dodgy landlord who didn't follow the law and MYT backed me up. They funded a B&B and a few nights later I was in shared accomodation. None of this would of been possible without MYT.
Then came a downfall. April 2013 and MYT face a budget cut and Connexions is about to be renamed YES. Rosie, myself and the rest of the forum, with only a few days notice went outside a full council meeting and told concillours as they were going in how we felt about the budget cut. We had no objection to renaming the contract - only the budget cut. This proved how much MYT means to young people in Medway.
Fast forward again to July 2013. Rosie and myself resigned as Trustees to become paid employees on the NCS programme as assistant team leaders and it was fantastic and new youth trustees continued.
There are tons more issues I could talk about Medway Youth Trust helping me through, mental health, self - harm ect. The list is endless but this blog is probably long enough. Without Medway Youth Trust, in all honesty, things would have been incredibly dark and who knows the route I would have gone down.
Massive thanks to all the staff at Medway Youth Trust - past and present for helping me and other young people.
Happy birthday Medway Youth Trust,