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Helena

Faces of Suffolk

Helena2

Helena

My parents split when I was aged one and a half; my dad wasn’t around much and my mum got primary custody of me. She used to take me to stately homes and National Trust places for days out when I was younger and I realised I enjoyed history. I decided to take it at A Level and I fell in love with it; it’s what I was brought up with.

I’m the first in my family to go to university; I love going home and telling my mum and grandma all about what I’m doing. When I first started uni, I did struggle a bit. I often reverse my words or muddle them up and I was struggling with my writing skills. I thought it was just one of my quirks, I didn’t realise at the time I had dyslexia and dyspraxia.

I would get really stressed out because I knew I was putting in so many hours; it took me nearly 12 hours to write a script for a 5-minute presentation. I know the facts and I have the knowledge, it’s just getting it down on paper that’s the struggle. I was so happy when I achieved my first 2:1. It’s hard not to compare yourself to others, but you just have to focus on your own goals and achievements.

I spent my history placement at the records office, trying to figure out what I wanted to do, and I realised that I missed talking to people. I’m from a really rough area in Kent, which has the highest crime rate in the county. Last year when I was back home, I experienced crime myself, when a group of boys attacked me. It made me realise I wanted to help people to not get into those situations.

My mum was also mugged by a boy I knew when I was 12. It’s just normal life there, that’s every day. They feel they have to commit these crimes to be able to live. It’s not fair and it’s not right, so I’m hoping to go into social work or youth justice work to help young people rehabilitate after prison and to prevent them from entering a life of crime.

My main ambition is to do something where I go home at the end of the day and I feel good about what I’m doing.

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