Tell us a bit about you
My name is Elsa, I am 19 and have lived in East London my whole life. I am currently in my first year of university, studying at Goldsmiths college in London which, despite the challenging circumstances, I am making the most of and enjoying as much as I can. In my spare time I currently tutor and support some local families with home schooling online as well as continuing to enjoy all of the charity work that I have always loved being a part of. I also enjoy playing music, attending dance classes and spending time with my family.
Why are you passionate about helping young people?
I am passionate about helping young people because I have experienced and seen first-hand some of the difficulties that young people are facing in such a rapidly changing world and I would like to be a part of supporting them to overcome challenges and reach their full potential. I very strongly believe that young people have so much more power to make a difference than we think and want to be a part of helping to instil self-belief and confidence to young minds. Having struggled myself, I am particularly interested in children and young people’s mental health and well-being, so a lot of the work that I currently do is centred around that, which I find really fulfilling and always enjoy.
At FREEDOM 2 we think its important to start with helping the 1, is this something you can identify with?
Definitely. Helping people around us and spreading kindness wherever we can is so important and something small can make a much bigger difference to someone’s life than we could ever imagine. Within some of the local community work that I do we work by the quote that ‘no act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted’, because we truly believe that it isn’t and by helping others you could be inspiring so much more change than you think. The simple phrase, be kind, is often underestimated but holds so much power and is worth carrying through all of our actions towards both each other and ourselves.
What attracted you about the Youth trustee position at FREEDOM 2?
I was attracted to the FREEDOM 2 youth trustee position because I really believe in the power of youth voice and being the change that you want to see in the world. I share a lot of similar values with FREEDOM 2 through all of the work I already do and I knew that this was an amazing opportunity to make speak up for young people and use my voice for good. I believe that a diverse charity board is really important and the prospect of opening up this opportunity to a young person really excited me. I know I am going to learn a lot from Mel and her team and am looking forward to also brining my own thoughts to the table!
How do you take time for you?
Great question! My ‘me time’ is currently made up of a lot of exercise which I am finding really useful during this lockdown in particular. So a good dance class or any outdoor exercise always helps to reenergise and motivate me again. I have a new ritual where if I’ve got time between zoom calls I put on a tune and dance around my room for 3 mins just to get out of my chair!… it’s the little things!
What are you looking forward to most when we get out of lockdown?
I am most looking forward to just being able to see people again and getting some of the simple, normal things back in life. I am looking forward to seeing the sun and eventually fulfilling some of my travel plans were cancelled.
What are your next steps for 2021?
My hopes for 2021 are to continue doing all of the charity work that I have always loved and keep learning with amazing teams of people. I would also like to develop my own personal work in my local community to reach even more people. I’ve also, got a couple of exciting charity challenges lined up for the year which I am training and working towards at the moment including the national three peaks challenge for the mental health charity, Mind, and am a part of a team trekking Mont Blanc for a local children’s hospice in the Autumn. Obviously all dependent on the state of the world by then but whether it happens this year or the next few, it is certainly something to look forward to.
Elsa is FREEDOM 2’s Youth trustee and a first year University student at Goldsmiths College studying Education, Culture and Society. She is really passionate about the power of youth voice and being a part of inspiring change. She loves community centred work and currently runs a local initiative aimed at spreading small acts of kindness and is very involved in some charity youth boards which focus on mental health and anti-bullying awareness.