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International Women’s Day – Fiona’s story

Thursday 8th March 2018

Please introduce yourself

I'm Fiona Graham and I'm 17, I volunteer on a Tuesday night at the 1st Blackburn  in West Lothian battalion. 

 Why do you volunteer as a BB leader?

I started volunteering at the BB two years ago to achieve my Saltire award within school. I'm now working towards my 200 hour award and while the school requirement is complete, I kept volunteering because I got really excited about the BB and the opportunities and confidence it has brought me. 

What do you think has been your biggest achievement in the BB?

I think gaining confidence has been a real achievement for me within the BB.  I now feel more relaxed when leading an activity and helping the boys.  It's  taken me out of my comfort zone and I have been able to participate in residential camps which I never would've done.  The BB has helped me to accept myself as I work with boys from all walks of life and I now realise that my skills and attributes are unique and can open up opportunities for not just myself, but for the boys too. 

What female role model inspires you?

It sounds cheesy but my mum and gran really inspire me.  We dealt with a long-term severe disability within my family for many years and my gran was a full-time carer.  These two women are the strongest people I know and have always stressed the importance of respecting yourself and feeling comfortable talking to people, about your problems or otherwise.  The fact they have such unrelenting confidence in me has really allowed me to reach my potential.

In terms of celebrities I'd say Emma Watson inspires me as she has made intelligence something to be proud of and takes an active role in the feminist movement and encourages others to do so too.

How do think your volunteering influences others - particularly young women?

I like to talk about my volunteering at the BB in school a lot, to my friends or anyone who will listen. I hope hearing about it and the interesting opportunities that the BB provides such as media education training or international volunteering experience encourages others to help positively in their community too. I also think it's important that we communicate with each other about our volunteering.  For example, my friend helped teach children maths and another helped in a taekwondo class.  It's nice to hear about their experiences and ideas and also suggest things to them - so we really share ideas! 

 

You can learn more about volunteering with The Boys' Brigade here.