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Young Ambassador Graduate Reactions

“My bipolar diagnosis inspired me to advocate for those with mental illness so I became a regional volunteer (VIR) with Young Minds who told me about the residential Young Ambassador programme.

I want to work in mental health but was told “you could never do that” and I wasn’t acceptable for courses because of the risk. This lowered my expectations so before the programme I felt completely hopeless…

At Radar I saw Rachel Perkins stating the NHS had policies against stigma and she had a successful psychiatric career despite her illness! This cemented my aspiration to study postgraduate Medicine and become a Psychiatrist. Radar helped me work towards this by providing one-on-one coaching sessions.

I met other ambitious ambassadors and I’ve realised despite obstacles I really CAN achieve my potential and people truly DO value me so I should too!”

Suzanne Machen, Radar Young Ambassador

“I heard about the Radar Leadership Programme for young people with mental health issues through my LGB youth worker. Signed off with stress, I applied for a job but my Doctor was against this.  I knew this programme would rebuild my confidence.

On arrival, I felt apprehensive yet excited. But I was welcomed and made to feel at ease. Most speakers had mental health issues. They showed us how we too could overcome barriers to success, despite our illness. I put my views across at the interactive workshops. My personal coach helped me set leadership goals through an action plan and supported me post-event through telephone coaching.

The best thing about the programme was people I met with similar experiences. They knew exactly what I was going through. It’s so freeing to be open about mental health without being dismissed or judged. The programme made me feel I CAN have a successful career whilst managing mental health issues. After the Radar training, I attended the interview for a youth work apprenticeship and got the job. I now get support from Mind and know I can do well despite the knockbacks I have had”

Charlotte Browne, Radar Young Ambassador

“I heard about the Radar Young Ambassadors Course via my voluntary group. For ages I have been wanting to stage a music/comedy show where the performers are people not seen as ‘socially acceptable’ in order to positively change perceptions about mental health. But I didn’t have the motivation to carry it through. After attending the training, I decided to take action. Now I am working with a well known charity who are helping me stage the event and become a fundraiser. I have found a venue and already lined up some performers. So watch this space. Plus I have decided to apply as a volunteer for Childline as they have helped me in the past” Contact Hannah on missxdeadxduck@hotmail.co.uk if you want to know more or support her music/comedy show in Leeds.

Hannah Clark, Radar Young Ambassador