When Loren joined Putting Down Roots for Young People (PDRYP) she wasn’t in education or employment and had been recently discharged from a mental health acute ward and section. Despite always having a love for nature, she’d never done much gardening before. Loren also struggled to concentrate, often felt low and had little confidence.
She explained: “PDRYP were the first people to believe in me properly. They saw what other people didn’t spot, that actually I could achieve a lot in my life despite not having many A Levels or any chance of getting a job soon.
“PDRYP is amazing at fostering young people’s talents. We have weekly team meetings, and Ben always encourages us to take a lead. I realised that my skills of being methodical and organised fit perfectly for minute taking. Again, Ben gave me opportunities to take minutes in more senior meetings. PDRYP gave me a reason to leave the house, gave me reasons to get out of bed and to keep going. I am forever grateful, and don’t think I’d be anywhere near where I am without the team at PDRYP.”
Loren started a nursing degree apprenticeship in October 2020. She is also on the board for the National Lottery Community Fund, on an assessment panel for UK Youth, and is a member of the Our Bright Future Youth Forum. She runs sessions for other young people on youth voice and mental health and has had several articles publish for BeatFreekz, the National Lottery Community Fund, and Child and Young People Now magazine. She has networked with the heads of organisations like Mind, Children in Need, and Sports UK.
Find out more about Putting Down Roots for Young People here and read about their fantastic experience learning more about photography at Kew Gardens here.