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Nikki's story

In her early twenties, Nikki worked in a supermarket and was passionate about psychology but lacked confidence. Volunteering as a counsellor helped her grow and push herself to take on a bigger role with Place2Be. 

My journey first started when I was only 18 and struggling to decide what I wanted to do with my life. I've always had a real interest and passion for psychology but doing a degree straight after my A-levels just didn't feel totally right.

So I went back to college and absolutely loved taking the time to discover what I really wanted to do, which turned out to be counselling! I completed my levels 1, 2 and 3 in counselling and started my degree. That is when I first learned all about Place2Be.

I just loved the idea of early intervention and working with children so I applied to be a Volunteer Counsellor. For me personally this was a huge step; I've always struggled with my confidence growing up so putting myself out there took a lot of courage and preparation.

But I’m also a great believer in my gut instinct, and the only way I can describe it is that it just felt right. I was happy and for the first time in my life I believed I was good at something, and had something I could offer the children I was counselling.

At the time I was working on a supermarket checkout but I knew that just wasn't what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be. While I still struggled with my confidence, walking around the school having children approach me was so rewarding and I really felt like I made a difference no matter how big or small it might’ve been.

I had been volunteering for 5 years when I saw the Assistant School Project Manager vacancy. I decided to push myself and go for it - and I was so happy when I got it!

The 4 School Project Managers I have had the pleasure of working beside have been absolutely amazing and so supportive. Knowing they are always there for me gives me a daily boost to carry on challenging myself, learning and growing.

What I love most about my role is the children and what it has done to me as a person. I am so thankful I volunteered all those years ago as it honestly changed my life for the better. My confidence has increased tenfold, my experience is ever growing and all the training I have received has been invaluable. I hardly recognise the girl I used to be!

Inspired? Read more Volunteer Stories or find out more on our volunteer counselling placements page 

Become a Volunteer Counsellor

 
 

Craig's story

Craig's teacher referred him to Place2Be because he was always involved in fights in the playground