"If I had told my friends and family that I wanted to become a Youth Advice Worker, they would have laughed,” says James, a Youth Worker for No Limits. “It was never a profession that I thought I would ever find myself doing,” he explains.”But I love it.”
James joined No Limits as a Volunteer Advice Worker at the age of 23, over a year ago. After being made redundant, he was looking for a change and felt volunteering would be a great opportunity to try a new role, giving him the chance to enter a profession in which he had no previous experience. And he hasn’t looked back since.
After an initial training period, which proved invaluable and gave James a chance to observe his co-workers, he joined the No Limits Health and Wellbeing drop-ins at schools and colleges around the city, with the aim of improving the mental health and emotional welfare of children and young people.
"Working on the drop-ins opened my eyes to the issues surrounding young people” said James. “You read it in the paper then you actually meet the people who suffer from these issues in real-life such as bullying, victimisation or experiencing family traumas. I would chat to them about any problems they had and there was always a paid worker on hand if I felt out of my depth.“
James continued as a volunteer for a year and was awarded recognition for his contribution, achieving a total of over 200 volunteering hours, and has now joined No Limits as a paid member of staff. He believes that his training as a volunteer has paved the way for his career as a Youth Advice Worker.
“As a volunteer I felt like a valued member of the team and had the chance to offer support to young people at the most vulnerable points within their lives and will be able to continue this work as they venture into adulthood.”