15 June 2021

Georgia’s inspiring volunteer journey

For more than a decade, Future First has been connecting students with alumni to help them strive for success in the future. Through providing young people with inspirational and relatable role models, we offer them the confidence and motivation needed to go on and succeed whatever their circumstances. 

Our vision is for a world where a young person’s start in life does not limit their future and through providing a connection to alumni we widen their career horizons and help them challenge any barriers that may stand in their way.

Georgia Vine is a particularly inspirational alumni volunteer. Here she talks about her experience working with Future First.

The opportunity to be an alumni volunteer at my former school, Longley Park Sixth Form in Sheffield, has been a real delight. As a disabled woman, I’ve faced many stereotypes throughout my life especially having a speech impairment because people assume that I have a learning disability. I believe the issues that are highlighted around stereotypes come from the use of incorrect language and terminology, therefore, we need to hold space to have conversations about this and the more often we have these conversations the easier they become.

We all face challenges as we pursue or goals. For me, chronic fatigue is a particular challenge and it is something that I have to constantly address. This can be difficult as I like to keep myself busy. As well as studying Occupational Therapy at Sheffield Hallam University, I also maintain a blog Not So Terrible Palsy, act as an ambassador for CP Teens UK, and work as Digital Production Director and Global Student Ambassador for Occupational Therapists Without Borders.

Role models have been so important in shaping me. My own occupational therapists made such a significant impact on my life and they have inspired me to become an occupational therapist myself. If I can make half the difference they’ve made on me it will be worthwhile. I’m also motivated by my family who have taught me that good things come from hard work. When I was at school the role models most powerful to me were my older cousins who were at university and striving for a career. When I saw photos of them in their cap and gowns I knew that I wanted to follow in their footsteps.

However, for many young people, inspirational and relatable role models are not so easy to find. That’s why the work Future First does is so important. I’ve really enjoyed volunteering, especially during recent times, as I’ve been caught up in the pressures of the final year of my studies. It’s been lovely to do something different and meaningful that I hope will benefit others. Also, the people I have worked with have been amazing and I’ve really enjoyed working with them. I hope I’ve shown students that hard work does get you somewhere and you can achieve what you want to, even if it seems a cliché. I also hope that I have made the students who are interested in healthcare aware of a different profession that they may not have considered before.

Find out more about volunteering with Future First and sign up to your former school network now.