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Claudia Van-Nimwegen, An Ex-Free Your Mind Member Tells Us Her Thoughts

Name: Claudia Van-Nimwegen

How long were you in the Free Your Mind (FYM) Campaign Group and what was your role?

I was in the FYM Group for 8 months from September 2015 through till June 2016. My role was as workshop leader at the European Youth Event 2016 in Strasbourg in France and the Free Your Mind Convention 2016.

How do you think FYM has impacted key issues in West Sussex?

The EYE team and Free Your Mind impacted West Sussex and young people because we are a diverse group of individuals promoting positive change surrounding young peoples mental health and emotional wellbeing/

What was your favourite part of the FYM and why?

For me, my favourite part was to use my skills in leadership and production to make the promo video sound recordings at Big creative Education in London and lead the stress busting workshop out in European Youth Event in Strasbourg.

What opportunities did the group open up for you?

It gave me the opportunity to improve my confidence and leadership skills and have a voice to speak out and make a positive change to young people with mental health and emotional wellbeing difficulties.

What skills and development did you gain?

Skills I have learnt are; being comfortable in myself in terms of having enough confidence to speak out and express my opinion; gain knowledge of teamwork and leading a team and development in ways such as personal assurance as in knowing myself better as an individual and what my strengths and weaknesses are.

How will these new skills help you in the future?

I can gain more social skills and leadership skills, more confidence.

What is your favourite memory during your time at FYM?

My favourite memory was being able to speak out and lead a workshop at the European Youth Event 2016 (EYE) in Strasbourg.

What are you up to now?

I’m moving to London south bank university to study BA Theatre Technologies in Southwark, London. I will be doing production jobs and hopes of becoming a lighting designer for theatre and the creative industries.

Is there anything else you would like to say about Youth Voice in this country, or about the Free Your Mind Campaign?

I have come out of my shell so much and everybody has been so great and understood what I was trying to say even if my words weren’t very clear. Because of my autism I have found it very hard to be a part of a group and have the confidence to speak up but through the 8 months I have been a part of FYM and EYE 2016 I have been able to express myself through the whole process.

Read some more blogs from the Free Your Mind Campaign.

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