I was motivated to join the FVG because, as an autistic individual who has also struggled with mental health issues, I found that, upon finishing university, I faced numerous challenges in the world of work and employment. My past and current experiences have made me passionate about tackling the issue of youth unemployment, particularly in young people with disabilities. I also want to bring more attention to the incredible pressure young people seem to be under in modern society, which I think is one of the major contributors to the rise in mental health issues we have seen in recent years.
At the moment I am working full time, but I am also considering a potential career change. I also volunteer with Ambitious About Autism, the National Autistic Society, and Great Ormond Street Hospital, and regularly try to use my lived experiences to improve understanding and awareness of autism and eating disorders.
The most important thing in my life right now is to somehow make lasting change and help others who are going through similar struggles to my own. I feel strongly that so many people’s talents go unrecognised and are overlooked because of a lack of support, and believe we need to create an environment where everyone has the opportunity to fulfil their potential, and lead a happy life.
While I am part of the FVG I really want to empower young people with complex mental health issues and disabilities. I want to be a part of creating an environment that allows a much more diverse range of individuals to thrive, in all aspects of life, rather than a culture that embraces a ‘cookie cutter’, ‘tick box’ approach.