A kind-hearted Houghton Regis student who overcame her shyness to teach others confidence skills has won Young Volunteer of the Year.
This summer, Sasha Mead, 16, attended Central Bedfordshire Council’s Cheering Volunteering awards at the Grove Theatre, Dunstable, having been nominated for her work with Aldwyck Housing Group.
Sasha has been an Aldwyck volunteer youth worker since 2014 and every Friday evening the teenager forms part of a seven-strong team of volunteers at Sandringham Drive Youth Hub.
The determined student has seen her self esteem and confidence grow, taking part in different projects, including leading a group of youngsters through a confidence building AQA programme which culminated in a puppet show performance.
Sasha said: “I joined the hub because I was looking for something to do but I was very shy and wouldn’t talk.
“Now I enjoy inspiring young people. Self-confidence is the secret weapon to success and this is why I stayed on to volunteer; I wanted to help people grow within themselves and learn basic life skills such as confidence.
“When I won the award I thought ‘what?’, as I heard why all the other candidates were nominated and thought I definitely wouldn’t win!”
Aldwyck Housing Group’s Youth and ASB interventions officer, Hafi Rahman said:“The transformation Sasha has made since 2014 has been absolutely astounding.
“This award has made her realise how important her input into the community is.”