• Tom

Volunteer to Empower

The roots of my volunteering lie in the toughest period of my life.

I came out as gay at 22. In the midst of a suicidal depression, I began realising how detrimental hiding my sexuality and mental health struggles over the previous decade had been. I’d tried desperately to be a ‘normal’ straight man, afraid of who I really was. This prevented me ever learning to accept and become comfortable with my true self. I was storing mental health and self-esteem issues that have taken well into my twenties to come to process.

Something that kept me going during this time was an idea, somewhere in the back of my mind, that if I made it through, I wouldn’t want my struggle to be in vain. Coming out the other side, I wanted to prevent other young people having to struggle as I did, nor reach crisis points like mine.

It was while studying for a masters at UCL in 2016 that I first encountered