Ciana Roberts, from Bangor, a sixth-year student at Our Lady and St Patrick's College, Belfast, takes part in a number of volunteering roles in the community including supporting the Positive Futures charity that helps people with learning disabilities, brain injuries and dementia. Ciana also volunteers with St Vincent De Paul (SVP) and at nursing home and special needs schools in her local area.

Inspired by her Mum who is registered blind, when Ciana went to secondary school she realised that there was a lot of stigma surrounding people with learning disabilities. Becoming involved in the Positive Futures charity set up by her parents over 20 years ago, Ciana has taken part in sponsored walks, bag packs, craft fairs and fashion shows to raise funds from a young age.

Last year Ciana got involved in a programme through SVP called ‘Linking Generations’ to try and help educate the younger generation on dementia. The 8-week programme gave her a new-found tolerance and knowledge on the subject which she can share and use within her local community.

“Ciana is an exceptional student. She is quiet and unassuming and approaches everything with clear determination and a strong will to help and indeed succeed,” said her teacher James Doyle. “Through her volunteer work, Ciana has made such a difference to so many people in her community.”

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