Go Sam! Depaul UK resident carries the Olympic Torch in Westminster
On 26 July 2012 Sam Jafar, a resident of Westbourne House in London, a housing project run by youth homelessness charity Depaul UK, carried the Olympic Torch through the streets of Westminster.
Sam came into contact with Depaul UK when he became homeless. The support he received there was pivotal in bringing about positive change and he has gone on to achieve great things. Sam was selected to carry the Olympic Torch and represent Westminster in recognition for all of his volunteering achievements. As well as completing his Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award and his FA Level 2 coaching award, Sam has been volunteering as a football coach in a local club, has campaigned for Westminster Youth Parliament and been accepted on to an International Expedition with Raleigh International. Sam will be starting studies for a BTEC in Aeronautical Engineering in September and plans to qualify as an Engineer.
Sam says: "It's such an honour to be chosen to carry the torch in Westminster and be part of such momentous event.
My life has really changed for the better over the past few years and I can't thank Depaul UK enough for the help I received. Having a safe and stable place to live and the confidence I gained from Depaul UK enabled me to reach all of my goals. My key-worker was beside me all the way whilst I applied for colleges and even came with me to the interviews and I also did some work experience with Depaul UK's finance department!.
Living at Westbourne House helped me grow up and has given me the skills I need to live independently. My experience and challenges have also made me passionate about giving back to the community, for I am acutely aware of the massive difference good support, encouragement and kindness can make.”
Paul Marriott, Chief Executive of Depaul UK said: "We are so proud of Sam and his achievement really is to be celebrated. Depaul UK believes that everyone should have a safe and secure place to call home as this, along with support, helps young people progress beyond homelessness towards a happy and independent adulthood. Our heartfelt congratulations again to Sam for all he has achieved and for his dedication to helping others too. "