Make a difference to your life and the lives of others!

May 13, 2019 - Emma McIlvanney

John Bell applied to college as a mature student. He started on Step into Youthwork, progressed to HNC Working with Communities and has now almost finished a BA in Community Development at The University of Glasgow.

We caught up with John recently as he spoke at a college event, which raised awareness about the impact of adverse childhood experiences. Here’s his story…


Make a difference to your life and the lives of others.John Bell.jpg

“I was once was a troubled young man, and if someone had told me four years ago I would be studying at university, I would have laughed.

"I lacked confidence and had been out of education for 20 years, so coming to college as mature student was a huge step for me. I wanted to do something to help prevent young people making the same mistakes that I did.

"The mixture of both practical and theoretical work on the HNC course allowed me to develop, not only as a worker, but as a person.

"I am now in the third year of a B.A. in Community Development at the University of Glasgow. My placement within the Fullarton Community Hub, Irvine, gives me an opportunity to work closely with the community, organising groups and events that they have requested.

"I aspire to work on community lead projects, which help individuals and groups achieve their potential, and advance the community and the people within it.

"This vocation can be tough at times, but the upsides far outweigh the downsides. Even during difficult aspects of my work I try to smile. I know I’m helping others to make changes which have a positive effect on our society.

"My advice is love what you do and show love to the people you work with. I believe that we can really make a difference through the work we do."

John was nominated for the ‘Role Model of the Year’ category at sportscotland Scottish Sport Futures Awards earlier this year.

He said: “I’m truly humbled. My work was about using a ‘sport for change’ model to help the young people not only improve in sport and fitness but also in their own confidence and abilities.

“It’s very flattering to reach the final of such a prestigious awards but to be honest I take more joy from the attainment of community awards the young people achieved.”

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