Growing up I was far from an angel, I got into a lot of trouble with the police, I was constantly getting kicked out of school for all sorts of stupid things from fighting and arguing with teachers to smoking and smashing things up. Arguments with my mother turned into a regular routine of stress and worry, I felt that I didn’t belong anywhere.

I was so nervous, my suitcases were packed three weeks before we even went!

The night before I couldn’t sleep and then we had to wait all day and night because the coach wasn’t coming until midnight, I couldn’t stop shaking, couldn’t stop speaking, I must have smoked at least 40 fags that day, I really didn’t know what to do with myself.

Until one day one of the PCSOs Samantha Johnson told me about these interviews for a trip to Africa. But I went to the interview, with nerves almost as big as the butterflies going crazy in my stomach and a few hours later “BAM”.. “Chanty, you’re coming to Africa” I was left speechless, it all felt like one big dream and I was waiting to get awoken.

We had six weeks of training prior to the trip, which helped loads!

My bond with my father stopped for a very long time due to matters I would rather not write about, but it had a massive impact on my behaviour.

I went through a phase of being even worse than I already was.

I tried to take my life by overdosing on a stupid amount of tablets which I am not even sure I feel comfortable talking about but it happened.

I am still not over it to this day but I have since learnt how to control my feelings and it’s healthy to be upset sometimes because nobody can be strong all the time.

We finally got on the plane and being stuck in between TWO Lucy’s that are both scared of flying?

Lucy Dicko was squeezing my hand until my veins were popping out and on the other side Lucy Evo was telling me we were going to die.. We had a few stops during the journey to Freetown which made it seem even longer but when we finally arrived all of the travelling was worth it, I stepped off the plane and felt like I had just stood on a blazing fire the heat was beyond!

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