Our Ellie honoured at Lord-Lieutenant’s Garden Party!

Ellie Brockhurst

Meeting Ellie Brockhurst, you quickly get the sense that she is thoughtful and passionate about her work. When we met, she had just finished a long day supporting one of our summer activities for young people and had a shift at her part-time job ahead, but she’s still animated about what drives her. 

“One reason I think the work is important is to give disadvantaged young people more opportunities and experiences. For example, the young people today… it might be the only thing they’ve done all summer. Some of them only know their families and face challenges within their family life or as a result of that limited experience. Taking part in today might show them a new opportunity or ambition they didn’t know they had. Maybe in the future that will encourage them to go to college or pursue a career the didn’t know about.” 

We’re here to talk about a special moment. In the Spring, Ellie was nominated by our Young People’s Service Project Co-ordinator, Teresa Bromilow to attend the Lord-Lieutenant’s Garden Party, a celebration of volunteers and carers hosted at Alnwick Gardens. 

“I didn’t know anything about it until a beautiful invite arrived in the post and Teresa told me she had nominated me. It was really exciting.” 

She adds, “Teresa knows everyone! She’s been doing this a long time and really understands.” 

Ellie Brockhurst

The event was a celebration of individuals going the extra mile for their communities and the people in them. Hosted by The Duchess of Northumberland, in her role as Lord-Lieutenant, guests were treated to speakers sharing the inspiring work of local charities, an afternoon tea, live music and the opportunity to enjoy the famous gardens. 

“The event was sponsored by Greggs. It felt odd to be at a posh sit-down meal with plates of Steak Bakes being served, but me and Teresa had a laugh. It was a lovely place.” 

Ellie started her volunteering role during the pandemic, enrolling as a peer mentor in her first year of studying a Forensic Psychology degree. Starting in the pandemic, at first all her mentoring was online. She has since worked with 3 “and a half” young people aged 11 to 16. For one young carer, she provided someone to talk to and share Tiktok dances with in the isolation of lockdown, another mentoring relationship saw regular dog walks turn into work experience with a local pet shop. 

She has now joined Children North East as an employee, taking on a Sessional Worker role as she gears up for a Masters.  

“My volunteering has given me interesting experience of working with diverse needs. Good experience. I also feel the impact it’s had on families, for those young people going out once a week really can mean the world. For some young people, if they didn’t have that contact with Children North East after they finish school, they’d lose that safety net.” 

When Teresa shared why she nominated Ellie you can see why the organisers couldn’t say no, “Ellie has been an incredible support to Children North East in her volunteer role. She started in a very difficult period of the lockdown, providing support to vulnerable young people facing some very new challenges. She is an amazing peer mentor and very dedicated in her approach to working with young people. I was very proud to be able to nominate her for this opportunity.” 

The Duchess of Northumberland commented on the event, “I hear so many moving stories of the things people do, for the benefit of others less fortunate, some working for charities, many just doing their own thing, frequently unnoticed, giving help where it is needed most. This is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to them for the really valuable work they do.”