Fundraising News: Why I Give - Kirsty Fowler

Kirsty Fowler, 18, is a community service volunteer from Watford.

Last month, she won the Millennium Volunteer of the Year award for an anti-bullying scheme she set up for local children and young people.

Which charities do you give your time to and why? I have been volunteering for the Spectrum Health Trust since I was six, helping my mother who used to work there as a volunteer. The trust helps people to deal with depression and stress. I now spend four days a week doing administrative work for them. I also developed my own project to support children and young people in Bedfordshire who were being bullied at school. The courses I run give people a chance to try out activities like drama, reflexology and colour analysis to boost self-esteem and confidence.

Approximately how much time or money do you give per year? I dedicate most of my time to Spectrum and the anti-bullying project and I also help with fundraising. One of my initiatives was to raise money through a 'sponsored silence'. I had to remain silent for a whole day at work. Part of the money went to the trust and the rest to my project.

What do you bring to the charities you support? Energy, enthusiasm and a fresh look at what Spectrum does. I was bullied for five years and I feel that I can use my experience to make a positive and practical contribution to the anti-bullying project I run there.

Are there any other charities you support? Yes. I volunteered for the NSPCC in December and January, writing articles and being video-interviewed in support of their ongoing young people campaign.

How do you feel about the award? I feel really proud to have won the Millennium Volunteer of the Year award, but my ultimate dream is to get funding for the project I have set up. I would like to use my GNVQ in business to turn it into a full-scale organisation. I hope to expand it in the future to reach out to people with drug and alcohol problems.

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