Next Stop Berlin - support for community champion to gain valuable new skills

Earlier this year we awarded 17 year-old Imogene Blackburn-Horgan (Immy) a grant of £750 to help support her as she learns new skills and gains valuable experience on voluntary placements in Berlin. Immy has secured a placement with the Federal Office for Family and Civil Society and a secondary placement with the charity Give Something Back to Berlin.

Taking into account her involvement within her local community to date through the Wilbury Community Forum and the opportunities and new skills this placement will provide, the grants committee felt supporting Immy’s application would in-turn benefit the town.  

This year’s winner of the Comet’s Service to the Community award, Immy has worked tirelessly to support her local community. She was instrumental in setting up both the Wilbury Community Forum and the Wilbury Youth Council and is still heavily involved in both. She gives up her own free time organising events and fundraising to ensure activities and experiences can be offered free of charge. Immy also has her own informal ‘Granny Watch’ checking in on elderly residents and helping them attend social events. Immy is well known and supported by her local community.

Volunteer work aside, Immy is also studying for A levels in Physics, Chemistry and Biology and hopes to pursue a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics).

“I’m delighted to have been awarded the grant from the Heritage Foundation and can’t wait to use my skills globally, develop them and come back to my home town to put them into action!” said Immy. She added: “The application and interview process was long and competitive and securing these placements has been a massive achievement.  I know I have inspired young people who have many needs to have a go and see what you can learn. When I get back from Germany I will continue to encourage young people and adults in my community work.”

Immy heads to Berlin on 8 August for an initial training programme before starting her placement in early September.  She’ll be updating us monthly – do check back to read her updates.