“As one of six, it is safe to say my home life was hectic. I think that’s how it all started. It was about finding control in my life. I was 16 years old and facing the pressure of my GCSE’s.
"My mum had four of us kids to look after at home and my sister had found out she was pregnant. It was easy for me to just disappear into the background.
“It was healthy dieting to start with but soon I was massively restricting my calorie intake. My family intervened and took me to A&E where I was told I would have been dead by the weekend.
“Treatment involved long stays in hospital and working with therapists. However, the real change came when I was introduced to the National Citizen Service (NCS). The programme took me away from all the stresses of my life, introduced me to new people and new experiences. It built my confidence so much. I never would have believed I would be standing up and talking at graduation in front of hundreds of people. I really loved every second of NCS, it taught me to fight my fears and be confident about who I am.
“When the opportunity came to work as an Assistant Team Leader for NCS I jumped at the chance. To be able to support young people in the way my team leaders did for me, is really what it’s all about. I am now an Engagement Worker with NCS @ Young Gloucestershire and this year I had the privilege of supporting another young girl with anorexia. Watching her confidence grow this summer was like looking in a mirror.
“I love delivering body image sessions as part of the NCS programme. Getting young people to think about how the media has an impact in their life and understanding that there is no such thing as perfect.”