A 15-year-old girl from Sudbury, who has a passion for helping others, has been recognised for her efforts with a glittering accolade.
Eve Brooks-Parkin, of Blackfriars Road, was awarded The Andrew Towers’ Young Person of the Year award by Community Action Suffolk, which supports organisations, communities and social enterprises.
Eve has worked as a volunteer at Eden-Rose Coppice for five years, supporting young people with learning difficulties through nature activities.
The charity was set up by Eve’s grandad, Rob Brooks, who was inspired to help others by his wife, who died from cancer.
The charity’s woodland sites provide a safe and stimulating environment for cancer patients, people living with terminal illnesses, those with mental health conditions and learning difficulties.
As well as her work at the coppice, Eve also leads a group of volunteers, every month, at the Brickmakers Wood project, in Ipswich.
Eve, who is a student at Ormiston Sudbury Academy, finds volunteering very rewarding.
“I enjoy knowing that I have made an impact on someone’s life,” said Eve.
Helping others in her spare time has become part of her life.
“It’s a family-based charity that I have been volunteering for since I can remember.”
While studying for nine GCSEs, the outdoors has also provided an outlet for Eve.
“Being outside and away from the stress of everyday life and taking a couple of hours outside is really uplifting,” she said.
During the sessions, Eve supports group members through different tasks, including lighting fires, cooking over bonfires and building dens.
Winning the award was a huge surprise for Eve.
“No-one told me I was nominated,” she said. “It was surreal.”
After completing her GCSEs, Eve plans to study environmental science at college.
“I want to go down the path of volunteering with what I’ve learnt,” she said.
Eve’s mother, Jo, who is the manager of the charity, said she was very proud.
“She works with the children in a very special way and it’s lovely to have a younger person around,” she said.
For more information about the charity, go online to http://www.withnature.org/about-eden-rose-coppice or email email@example.com.