Alex grew up in a home that was dominated by alcohol abuse. He experienced very little in terms of physical, emotional and financial support, and there was very little money available for basic essential items.
Early on in life, Alex battled with depression but decided at the age of 16 that he wanted to change the course of his life and made the decision to move out. He was offered accommodation at YMCA Colchester who enabled him to do so.
In over a year since joining YMCA Colchester Alex has achieve so much. At such a pivotal time in his life, Alex decided to undertake 3 A-levels, left school with grades AAB and received three offers to study nursing at university.
As well as this, at just 17 years old He has now moved out of YMCA accommodation and has now gone onto volunteering with individuals who suffer from addiction. Here he continues to gain some insight into his life growing up.
On Mothering Sunday 2018, Alex gave a talk in front of 300 people at Chelmsford Cathedral; an opportunity given to him by the Bishop after hearing his story through YMCA. Alex appeared to have touched the hearts and provided an inspiring voice to the congregation.
YMCA Essex regards Alex as a ‘tenacious’ and ‘resilient’ person who is an inspiration to all. In 2018, Alex was nominated for our Young Achiever of the Year Award.
Brooke first attended our Social Acknowledgement group at the age of 8. Brooke’s Mum felt that a youth club may help Brooke to overcome her shyness and low confidence.
After attending for a few weeks, Brooke soon found her feet. She met new friends, worked well with staff and got involved with activities. The group over the years went on residential trips and days out where Brooke was pushed to her limits through caving, canoeing, climbing etc. which Brooke gave her all to.
Brooke would then come up with ideas each week for group games and quizzes, which amazed staff, who then invited her to become a young leader. After a year of accomplishing this, Brooke now volunteers at many youth groups, supporting ‘mini Brooke’s’, helping other young people come out of their shell and reach their full potential! Brooke says that without YMCA Essex, she would be a lost soul!