Empowerment of women and children is something close to my heart and when I met Hannah at the age of 14, she helped nourish and grow this passion through mentoring. She explored my gifts of being a leader and guided me through the troubles in my life which I was facing. I was then honoured to be asked to be part of her Cherished journey. She told me all about her ideas for Cherished and even tried out the course on my youth group. It inspired me and taught me a great deal about myself and the young woman I wanted to become.
Now, 5 years on, I’m nearly 19, and heavily involved in Cherished. I’m a trained mentor, and a leader at our Sutton Coldfield Blossom and our soon to be Erdington Blossom. In fact, I jump at every opportunity I get to help out, be it careers events, residential, conferences, admin work or mentoring. Every event, meeting or even phone call to do with Cherished, I leave with this feeling in my stomach which radiates throughout my body. Enlightenment. Joy. Fulfilment. Purpose. Excitement. Inspiration. It’s a combination of all those things, yet I still find those words don’t truly explain the happiness Cherished has brought to my life. I would not be the woman I am today if I had not had the opportunity to be part of such an incredible organisation. Cherished not only provides you with the tools and space to help young girls to love themselves, but also a place for you to grow as a woman.
I’ve met wonderful people during my time with Cherished and made friends of all ages and backgrounds, which I will keep for life. Every single woman who volunteers has different gifts and talents. Some are creative, some are great listeners, yet we all share the same goal; to make young girls see their self-worth and fulfil their true potential. There is something very powerful about when we all come together as a group, you can feel the love and the determination in the room.
After not doing so great in my A-levels, I was stuck with what I wanted to do in the future. However, from working with the gorgeous girls at Cherished I knew it had to be something to do with children. I have now been offered an unconditional place on a health and social care access course, and hope to go to university to become a children’s nurse. The training opportunities such as ACE and CSE have broaden my knowledge on children’s brain and the effect trauma has on it and has sparked a new interest of child psychology, that one day I hope to pursue further. For now, it has lead me to start a book club for women who want to expand their knowledge on child trauma and the impact it has on the brain.
I am truly blessed to be part of such a wonderful team of compassionate and caring women and having watched Cherished grow from a tiny seed into a blossoming tree that spreads its roots across Birmingham and Derby. I cannot wait to see the challenges ahead and the greatness we can achieve.
By Harrie Devlin, Cherished Volunteer