Orla, Youth Board 2019 Alumni Member

I started mountain-biking for fun at my youth club when I was five years old. The club is run by local volunteers and they encouraged me to join the British Cycling Volunteer Programme through which I qualified as a coach at 16.

I joined Dare London having been to Woodrow High House with my club. I wanted to join a committee to do something meaningful and felt I could bring an outer London perspective. I took part in accredited Leadership training on Dare London residentials, attended policy meetings with London Assembly members and spent a summer working at Woodrow High House which was my first experience of going to work.

I’ve also been a young Quality Mark Assessor, accompanying London Youth membership development officers to member clubs. That was really interesting to see the other side of youth work and understand what youth clubs have to do in order to deliver youth services.

Looking back, my time with London Youth gave me such a confidence boost. Being invited to places of power like City Hall was really empowering and it felt like I was part of making change. The experience has led me to join a national youth board whilst in the first year of my degree course and I’m now considering a future career in youth work.