Skydiving fundraiser Patsy Elliott shares her story
Patsy Elliott has been a dedicated supporter of Kidscape since the start of 2014. We first met Patsy when she attended a ZAP anti-bullying and assertiveness workshop. Up until this point, Patsy had been experiencing severe bullying for more than eight years.
Despite these challenges, Patsy came to Kidscape with an incredible energy and eagerness to help other young people. Straight away, she began planning an exciting calendar of fundraising activities and events, which ran throughout the next year and led up to a skydive on her 16th birthday in May 2015.
In a short period of time Pasty's confidence has soared. She has found her voice and strength, despite others trying to take that away. Her dedication to supporting others led her to be presented with a British Citizen Award this year for her services to volunteering and charitable giving. At her young age, we think Patsy is a great inspiration and testament to the incredible things young people are capable of.
So far Patsy has raised an impressive £2,441 for Kidscape and she still intends to do more. Here she talks to Kidscape about her inspiring journey and her exciting plans for the future.
How did you find out about Kidscape, and what led you to contact us?
Before I came to Kidscape, I had experienced bullying for many years. I felt like I had tried everything and was ready to give up when I saw Gok Wan, Kidscape's ambassador, on Deal or no Deal playing in aid of the charity.
I looked into Kidscape's work and applied to attend one of their ZAP anti-bullying and assertiveness workshops.
How did this workshop help you?
The Kidscape staff helped me understand that I am not to blame for the bullying, and that it is possible to make it stop through learning how to be assertive.
Why did you choose to fundraise for Kidscape?
Kidscape has helped me become who I am today. I feel like I owe them so much so I wanted to do something in return.
Did you feel confident about fundraising before you started?
No I definitely didn't. But now I'm so confident I feel like there is no stopping me!
How have you been fundraising?
So far I have fundraised for Kidscape by organising a number of events and activities including:
- A community 'fun day'
- A music event
- Selling items on Facebook
- A bake sale
- A skydive on my 16th birthday
Completing a skydive is pretty daring. What made you choose to do this, and how did it make you feel?
I like thrilling things so doing a skydive was something that really excited me. The experience was completely indescribable. It was just amazing.
You have done so much for Kidscape over the past year, what has kept you motivated?
My main motivation has been knowing that there are people out there who have had similar experiences but are still in need of help, and my fundraising may allow them to get that support.
Has organising all of these events changed you in any way?
It has made me see life differently. It has made me more confident.
It is an incredible achievement to receive a British Citizen Award. How did this make you feel?
Weird and amazing because I feel like I didn't deserve it. (We at Kidscape would completely disagree!)
What have been your fondest and/or your proudest moments throughout your fundraising?
It would have to be receiving the British Citizen Award and completing the skydive. I will never forget these moments.
Do you have any fundraising plans for the future?
Yes loads. I am currently looking at entering a running event. I would also love to organise another 'fun day' and do another thrilling sporting activity such as abseiling or maybe another skydive.
What would be your key advice to other young people who are considering fundraising?
Just go for it! It's really fun.
At Kidscape, we believe you are an amazing role model and inspiration for young people. How does this make you feel?
Strange and weird but honoured.
If there was one key message you wish that all young people could learn, what would it be?
Treat others how you want to be treated. Also that you are not alone.
What are your current aspirations for the future?
I plan to study psychology at sixth form and university and then become a psychologist working specifically with people who have been bullied.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I would just like to thank Kidscape from the bottom of my heart for everything. There's no stopping me now!