Tom Albiston, from Windmill Hill in Runcorn, helps out at Victoria Park, has volunteered at a local primary school and supports children with autism.
“I like to keep busy and can’t sit at home doing nothing because I just get bored,” he said. “It has helped me to build up my confidence and I enjoy helping other people.”
As well as volunteering, Tom is currently studying Health and Social Care at Priestley College in Warrington and hopes to go on to become a pre-school teacher.
He was recently named one of the College’s ‘Superstars’ due to his outstanding contribution to Priestley and the community.
“I realised I wanted to work with pre-school children as I was going through high school,” he said. “I’ve got younger cousins who I see all the time and I think that has geared me towards this.”
Tom volunteers with the Just Chill group at Victoria Park where one of the recent projects was decorating old wheelbarrows that are now on display in the glasshouses.
Several times a month the group meets and takes responsibility for maintaining the park as a nice place for people to visit.
Tom, who is a keen footballer and is working towards his Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, also volunteered for a month as a classroom assistant at St Berteline’s School in Runcorn.
Halton Autistic Family Support Group also benefits from Tom’s time. His older brother has autism and Tom has been helping at the centre for a couple of years.
“I speak to autistic children and other people to get their feelings about the group and to see if anything can be improved from the children’s point of view,” he said.
Priestley Tutor Sarah Jones said Tom had impressed everyone with his efforts.
“He is such a lovely student and the amount of time he has already given to the community is incredible,” she said. “We are supporting him as much as we can because he is putting so much effort into helping others.”