Ellie Heyes volunteers in her local church group called The Edge in Wigan. The group meets weekly and run youth nights every Friday. Ellie heads up the welcome team on the nights and makes sure that everyone feels welcome and supported. Young people who attend include those that are socially isolated and perhaps find themselves walking the streets late on a Friday night. The Edge gives them a safe place to socialise with people of a similar age. They set up a range of structured activities that the young people can take part in. Most recently for Good Friday the group met and shared a Friday feast together.
At College, Ellie is also part of the CAFOD leadership programme and has visited a local high school and led activities related to the current refugee crisis. She has discussed with pupils what they could do to improve the situation. Ellie is a remarkable young person in that she doesn’t allow her speech impediment to be a barrier to her, and instead has shared her experience of this with others in her community. This has resulted in others in her community who have speech impediments, to come forward and create their own support network and join the speech programme that Ellie herself attended which has enabled her to manage her impediment successfully.
Her teacher said, “Ellie embodies what it is to give back to your local community. She does this week in week out and does so with a passion that comes from the heart. It would be lovely to see the work that she does recognised and celebrated”.
Ellie Heyes, 17
St John Rigby Sixth Form College, Orrell (Archdiocese of Liverpool)