Shania, 13, learns the importance of raising awareness

“The First Give programme has taken me on such a wonderful journey. I’ve been able to develop my speaking skills, confidence and have made new friends.”

Shania has always been aware of people living on the streets and wanted to understand why it happens and what she could do to help. She admits that at first she was very nervous about meeting The Passage, but they were very friendly and explained to her the struggles that homeless people face. She was inspired by their passion to help others and wanted to bring that passion to her team’s pitch.

For their School Final presentation Shania’s team shared personal stories and pictures, showing a human face to homelessness rather than just statistics. She wanted to explain that not only can you fundraise to support the charity, but just by talking about the topic you can break down barriers and change stereotypes.

“Even though we didn’t win I wanted to make sure all our hard work didn’t go to waste. I decided to put a fundraising committee together and we’ve put on special events at school to raise money including a cake sale and movie night. We are still in touch with our charity and will soon be visiting them to see the difference we have made.”

Shania’s commitment to raising funds and promoting awareness led to her being named our ‘Student of the Year’ at the First Give Awards which was presented by Charlotte Hill, CEO of Step Up To Serve.

“Completing First Give has made me more aware of my community and the importance of getting my generation involved. Making a positive contribution to my local area has made me so happy.”