Year 9 student Joss Irving has been working hard to implement change to support young people.

A volunteer at the ‘Refresh’ group at Cancercare which supports many in North Lancashire and South Cumbria, Joss and her peers have been campaigning to change the laws surrounding mental health.

Young people under the age of 16 who wish to access counselling currently have to seek consent from a parent or guardian, however Joss thinks this is a barrier for some adolescents from accessing the help that they so desperately need. This can be overruled if the under-16 is deemed to be intelligent and competent enough to make their own decisions, known as Gillick Competent, which is where it is believed more could be done.

Joss was able to link up with the BBC’s North West Tonight team in Morecambe, as they walked 100 miles between 12-16 November for Children in Need to meet children whose lives have been changed by the generosity of the public. Here presenter Becky Barr interviewed Joss where she discussed her volunteering and also how she is looking forward to training to becoming a Peer Supporter with Cancercare.

Joss said:

“I enjoy volunteering as it gives me a chance to give back to the community, whilst also allowing me to link up with people who have gone through similar situations as me.”

ROLE MODEL: Joss Irving speaks to BBC’s Becky Barr about how she is supporting her peers