Hero Diaries -Cynthia
Cynthia is a Peace First grantee and creator of the project: Helping the Overlooked NHS Workers. She is fighting to help cleaners and hospital laborers. She applied for a Rapid Response grant after her mum told her about the opportunity to create change. Cynthia’s project was created to address the treatment of overlooked key workers within the NHS. She believes everyone deserves respect, especially those who put their lives on the line to save others. This is Cynthia’s story.
"I was in class when I heard about COVID-19 for the first time. My teacher had brought it up as she too had just read about it recently. This was just three days after the news was out. My initial thought was, “this will never reach the uk.” But, at the same time there was a little bit of doubt because I had also heard that china had kept it quiet for two months before it ever became public news. Of course, it was worse than I’d thought. Since then, I have some friends whose parents caught the virus, however no one in my family has gotten it. Still, it has affected our lives through the lockdowns and many other rules that the government has enforced, including social distancing and quarantine.
When I first heard about the opportunity to apply for a grant that helped fund project ideas that young people had, I was not sure what my project would be about. But I eventually decided that I wanted to do my part fighting the global crisis and decided to help the NHS, who were at the forefront fighting this horrible disease. I wanted to appreciate and honor the cleaners and laborers, but I also had to stay safe. When buying the gift cards I had to go out to the shop and I also had to go and deliver them to the hospital reception, however I made sure to maintain social distancing at all times.
My project helped workers feel less invisible and more appreciated. It has also made my community more aware of the contribution that cleaners and other undervalued key workers make to society. Personally, it has helped me build my leadership and project management skills. It has motivated me to create more social change within my community and taught me to always look out for those who are overlooked.
I have learned that great risk can have great rewards. I always wanted to do things like this, but I never tried because I thought I wouldn’t be good at it. I also had no idea about platforms such as Peace First. After doing this project I got recognition in my school. Without Peace First this would not be possible, and I am grateful for platforms like this, which enable young people to help others.
Every young person should create their own project. Especially if they are presented with the opportunity. Each person--no matter their age--can change the world, because changing the world does not mean raising a big sum of money to help every single person who is a victim of life’s hardships. It is helping one person out however you can."