Pitman Training Student of the Year
An Angel of the North: Emma Ramshaw's goal of making young people reach their potential.
Emma has been nominated by friend and colleague, Josie Robinson. In Josie's nomination, she highlights how selfless and how much time she's given to volunteering over the years. For over ten years, Josie tells us, Emma has given up her free time to a variety of charities and organisations, helping to care and enabling young people to reach their potential. We asked Josie a series of questions to find out more about Emma and the great things she does for young people:
What is the name and purpose of the organisation that Emma volunteers for?
Emma volunteers for a variety of charities and organisations such as North Tyneside VODA, Princes Trust & NCS.
What is Emma's current occupation?
Emma dedicates all of her time as a volunteer, helping young people and her local community.
Why do you think Emma is so motivated to volunteer?
It's simply because Emma strives to help others. She believes in the potential of young people and is passionate about them reaching their full potential. She has a way of engaging hard to reach young people like no other I've ever met. She is truly amazing.
Is it possible to measure how much volunteering that Emma does?
It's difficult to say because she does so much! If I had to put a figure down, I'd say that Emma does a minimum four days a week volunteering for the organisations that are close to her heart.
Why is VODA so close to Emma's heart?
Emma says that VODA provided her with an opportunity to volunteer when she was at a difficult place in her life. She has been mentored and supported by Robin for the last ten years and holds VODA so close to her heart as she says volunteering saved her life. Giving back and making a real difference like the organisations did for her is her main motivation and passion, and that's why they're so close to her heart.
How does Emma balance her commitments?
Despite her busy schedule, Emma dedicates her time to three different projects usually, but she also ensures she spends her spare time looking after her own wellbeing. For Emma, it's volunteering that keeps her well and keeps her going so it's a vital aspect of her daily life. She is also the proud aunt to two beautiful girls so spends time with them when she isn't volunteering. However, it's evident that volunteering is one of Emma's main priorities and all other commitments slot in around her voluntary obligations.
What has been Emma's standout volunteering moment?
In the summer of 2018; Emma used her own experiences to deliver a resilience workshop to over 210 young people. It was truly inspiring to see her share her story, inspire and have such an effect others. Even when she was unable to make the celebration event, the young people that were there gave her a standing ovation, which we filmed and sent to her to show her how much her storytelling and volunteering is appreciated by others. The fact she had that level of impact is genuinely unbelievable.
Lastly, why do you think that Emma deserves to win this award?
For us, there are no other volunteers quite like Emma. Emma has volunteered for North Tyneside VODA for over ten years and she has faced barriers in her own life every day, but her resilience and determination to support others prevails. Emma dedicates her time to helping others in the community. She volunteers for The Princes Trust and provides one to one wellbeing support; through sharing her own experiences of mental health. Emma empowers others and allows them to see hope in the world even though they're going through a difficult time.
I don't even know where to start with Emma; she is probably the most exceptional person I've ever met. Despite her own uphill battle Emma continues to create change in our local community. She is engaging, funny, clever, dedicated and passionate about everything that she does. Emma has this way of making a room full of young people go silent, by just saying her name, to which she proceeds with her own story and experiences. People hang on to every word she says, and she uses this skill to inspire young people, and encourage them to reach their potential. I couldn't do the work I do with young people without Emma; and I am very lucky to not only call her a colleague, but a valued friend. She is the kindest person I know and she absolutely deserves to be recognised for her many years of volunteering in North Tyneside.
If you're inspired by Emma's story and think that she deserves to be awarded with a SuperAchiever award, get your vote cast.