Calvin‘s journey with Dorset Mind started in March 2016 when he was asked if he would join the charity as a young ambassador after the charity CEO hearing him speak at a mental health event.
Calvin has his own lived experience of mental health illness, diagnosed with Aspergers at age 7 alongside associated mental health disorders. Calvin continuously struggled at school with fitting in, behaviour issues, suffering from bullying and anxiety, this led to a severe episode of mental illness including self-harm and suicidal ideation. This resulted in him not being able to attend school for long periods, becoming increasingly isolated from his peers and unable to go out, leave the house. His school said he would be unable to take or achieve any GCSEs, or qualifications.
The change of direction in Calvin‘s life came as a result of three elements:
1. Starting at Leaf Studio School and the support he received from the teachers and SEN Team.
2. Finding his love of music and performing arts and the support and positive mentoring he received from adults within the local performing arts scene.
3. Becoming a member of Dorset Mind and the support and encouragement he received from the CEO, and Trustees and staff.
Since joining Dorset Mind Calvin has organised several fundraising events and created various fundraising campaigns, as well as attending many events on Dorset Mind’s behalf. He has represented Dorset Mind as an advocate public speaking face-to-face and online to various audiences included various TV, Radio and Press interviews. He was also initially involved in supporting the leadership in the design and development of DMYH (the former Young People’s Project). He has also represented Dorset Mind at meetings with funders, including attending the meeting with the National Lottery and joined us as a trustee in 2023, as the youngest member.
He is currently studying BAHons in Performing Arts at the London College of Music.
He also supports mental health as Wellbeing officer on the Student Union, An ambassador for Student Minds, volunteering for the Anna Kennedy Autism charity and supporting other charities.
He has been awarded:
- The Road to Recovery NHS Award
- The Princess Diana Award
- Finalist for the BBC Teen Star award (where he met Prince William and Prince Harry)