Tom Shorrock

Having completed all three levels of my Award I knew I wasn't ready to end my journey there. I decided to go on an volunteer with the Award, helping to deliver it to local young people in my area.

I did my Bronze and Silver whilst in the UK and completed my Gold whilst living in Singapore and then Japan. At the time, it felt like a weird thing to be part of but was great to be connected to like minded people initially in the UK but then when I moved abroad.

Upon completing university and entering the working world, I also wanted to give back to my community. So I decided to help as a volunteer with a local group to deliver the Award. The centre was a local school and it was amazing to see the benefits of the Award to young people; especially those who might be struggling with the world of academia. There is one boy in particular whom I remember; it was revolutionary for him. As a result of taking part in the Award, he went on to join the Army and had an amazing career; until he was taken too soon, and was killed whilst on duty in Afghanistan.

To this day, his brother says how much he loved his time in the Armed Forces and this was partly due to his experience with the Award.

The Award is one of the reasons I decided to go into teaching. I wanted to give back not just in the classroom, but to young people outside the four walls of formal education. I was involved with the Award in the UK, as well as in Qatar, Bahrain and then the UAE.

It was whilst in the UAE, the opportunity to go on and work for the Foundation came up. This has allowed me to develop my passion for Non-Formal Education and really instil this amongst the IACs I work with in the region and around the world.