@NHS from 28/11/16 to 02/12/16
Condition: Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Functional Neurological Disorder.
Place of treatment: Musgrove Park Hospital & Royal Berkshire Hospital
I’m nineteen years old and a first-year psychology student at the University of Reading with a never-ending thirst for knowledge. Before I came to University, I lived at home in Taunton, Somerset with my family and dog – all of which mean a lot to me. I love going out with my dog for long walks in the Countryside and simply taking in the view around me, it’s a great time for relaxation and reflection.
The main thing in my life that I also love is volunteering, and can honestly say it has changed my life and provided me with validation and a sense of direction. I continuously use both mine and other young people’s experience to try to improve our NHS health services, create discussions and represent young people.
From the age of twelve, I’ve had numerous health conditions/disabilities and have therefore used a plethora of services. I decided that I wanted to help to create change and improvements and subsequently got involved with different participation mechanisms at both local and national levels. Just a few examples are: being involved in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) participation, being a young ambassador for a local advocacy company, NHS Youth Forum member, Young Child Disability Council (CDC) member and more recently a Young Advisor for Common Room. These platforms have led to extensive opportunities, whether it is helping to write policies, getting involved in commissioning, speaking at conferences or devising training. Though what I have learnt, is that often the most important element is simply having conversations, raising awareness and challenging perception – so that is what I strive to do every day. I do this, especially, on the topics of transition, communication, rights, and Mental Health as these are areas that are so important to get right for young people.