Kayla Canning (Derry, Co Derry), a student from St. Cecilia’s College, has been a volunteer at the Kinship Care Group for five years and a Health Champion at the Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum (BBHF) for four years. Over this time, Kayla has completed over 250 hours of volunteering. Through her involvement in these programmes, Kayla has developed an understanding of the effects of trauma on young people’s lives and the importance of helping them find hope and positivity in their lives.

Kayla has delivered talks to youth groups and schools to increase awareness of the dangers of substance abuse and to promote positive mental health. Additionally, she is a member of a youth board that acts in an advisory capacity to the Board of Directors of the Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum. Through this experience, she had the opportunity to deliver a four-week health and wellbeing programme at the Bogside and Brandywell Summer Scheme as well as the “Ur Smile” mental health programme in the Long Tower Youth Club.

“Kayla has been a vital part of the Health Champions. She has been a great role model encouraging new young people to join the group while also boosting their confidence,” says Laura McGuinness of Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum. “She is such a big part of our organisation and she has done so much for us over the years through her time and commitment.”

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