Amal was referred to the Anti‐Tribalism Movement through her school at the age of 16 when she was seeking work‐experience training. She joined us for two week in the summer of 2018, participated in a number of events we hosted for young people after that and then joined the programme when she was ready in the summer of 2019. Amal joined the Lead and Be Led programme as a participant in the third cohort during the summer of 2019. Amal was studying for her first year of A‐Levels and struggling to deal with the jump from GCSE to A‐Level study coupled with extreme anxiety and wider mental health issues.
“I always felt like only certain kinds of people could become leaders and you couldn’t do this if you were a shy person or had anxiety. That’s why I couldn’t step up and take opportunities because I just wanted to stick to what I know. Lead and Be Led has taught me how to use my skills to be a leader and not focus on the negatives too much and focus on what I am good at more. I feel like I’m a more positive person now after doing the programme and I can speak more compared to before where I couldn’t even say hello to strangers.”
Amal completed the Lead and Be Led programme and helped to deliver a group social action project to tackle violent youth crime affecting young people. She came out of her shell through the acting required for the roleplay and got the chance to practice speaking to guests at the event using the social anxiety coping mechanisms developed through the 1‐2‐1 mentoring with the project officer.
Amal is now in her second year of A‐Level studies as of September 2019 and is participating in continued volunteering with another local organisation. She has also taken her experience of mental health services to influence local services by becoming a paid researcher with Imperial College University of London.