Rank Foundation Leadership Award winner Olivia McCann S6 has completed her first Community Action Placements with a UK charity. Here she tells us how she won the award and writes about her experience.
"Towards the end of Fifth year, I was nominated for a Rank Foundation Leadership Award by former Rector, Dr Greig. The award is a highly competitive scholarship given to 25-30 pupils annually across the UK who demonstrate high leadership potential.
"Each award holder is required to complete two sets of 2-week Community Action Placements working with a UK charity whilst holding the award. This July, I completed one of my work placements with Brook Merseyside Liverpool, a young people's health & wellbeing charity.
"The aim of the work placements is to take award holders outwith their normal environment to develop independence and self-confidence. I can honestly say that on discovering I was working for Brook, I was more than a little apprehensive about what my placement would entail, especially because it would be the longest time ever spent away from home.
"However, I soon realised that I had absolutely nothing to worry about - the staff were all very supportive and I enjoyed every minute working with Brook. During my placement, I was able to get involved in outreach activities in schools across the Wirral and Skelmersdale, teaching young people the importance of healthy relationships and staying safe online. I also had the opportunity to observe and help in clinic and see first-hand some of the most pressing issues facing young people today.
"On September 15th, I attended a Rank Foundation Leadership Day at Westminster Cathedral, meeting other award holders and gaining a deeper understanding of the organisation. We discussed the meaning of leadership and our placement experiences.This event made me realise exactly how prestigious this award is and I feel honoured to now be a Fellow of the Rank Foundation.
"Overall, I found my time with Brook enlightening and rewarding and my work with Rank as a whole has boosted my confidence in my own leadership skills. I am so grateful to Dr Greig, the Rank Foundation and Brook for allowing me the opportunity to experience such a worthwhile placement."