I applied for EPEV as I had been trying to make a difference in my local community since moving to North Wales, but I felt increasingly that I was lacking the skills and the contacts to have an impact and that I might soon admit defeat and leave the task to someone else. My confidence was low and I felt stuck in a spiral of negativity.
The core message that Wales values and encourages diversity challenged my belief that I could never make more than minor local changes because I was ‘too different’. With the encouragement of my mentor, I applied for a post with a national organisation and was delighted to be offered a role with more responsibilities than the one I applied for.
The EPEV events provided valuable opportunities to network with other people who also wish to bring about change, and introduced other organisations to collaborate with. With knowledge gained from the online workshops and encouragement from the EPEV team, my highlight of the programme was being able to speak in a House of Lords committee room about barriers that had held me back from participating in public life.
Now that I see my difference as a strength not a hindrance, I’m keen to become more involved in Welsh public life, and would recommend EPEV to anyone.