Shoya Nelson, a resident at Enfield Foyer, talks about volunteering and the positive impact it has had on her life.

“I was a volunteer sports leader before I went to Enfield Foyer where I got my sports leadership award. As a sports leader I would volunteer for the Enfield Council as an assistant basketball coach at Southbury Leisure Centre. I also helped once a year with the Elyon Heart Foundation; a foundation that puts on events for families in the community to help children with serious heart conditions.

Whilst volunteering I gained the confidence to tackle my A Levels, studying English Literature, Business Studies and ICT. Halfway through my A levels I had to stop studying to find a place to live as I became homeless.

That’s when I found the Enfield Foyer, after four months of struggling to find somewhere to live. I’ve now been living at the Foyer for 7 months. Since moving onto the Foyer I regularly met with the Education and Training Co-ordinator who pointed me in the right direction. She helped me to start a ‘Fit for work’ programme that helps with CV writing, filling application forms, doing presentations and covering letters. But before I took on a paid job I wanted to gain some experience so I felt confident enough take on the responsibilities of paid work. So she suggested volunteering. I always looked at volunteering as sports related or local based community projects, but realised there are numerous opportunities that help young people, trying to get their foot up in life. I’m now volunteering at the Foyer Federation office where I’m undertaking research. The research involves finding campaign related organisations for other young people to join.

Working as a volunteer has given me the confidence to know that I can do various things with my life. Volunteering has given me an insight into what I really want to do with my future.”