Hey, I’m Gracie, I’m fifteen years old and I’m the eldest of the Chick kids. I’m also the author and creator of this website, a blogger at A Light In The Darkness for over five years, a passionate advocate for empowering my generation, the person behind all the social media and communications for Round The UK On A Tenner A Day, organiser of CommuniTea events, trainee with several sail training charities that use life at sea to transform young lives, slam poet, believer in the power of community to create positive change & bridge social divides and part of theCramm Fam, a group of teens from all around the world involved in theCramm, founded by my friend and fellow teen Olivia Seltzer to educate Gen Z on the world around us and empower us to take action on the issues that we care about.
I’ve always been passionate about making a difference, but as I started to get older and see the reality of all the problems in our society and the extent of the negative effect they’re having, especially on my peers, I knew that it was time to do something that really mattered. I saw that behind every tragic statistic on the news was a broken person living in a broken society and behind every mental health disorder that my friends were getting diagnosed with was someone I cared about who was hurting at the hands of the world that is supposed to give them a future. Instead their future and the future of so many is being snatched away from them. I was desperate to be part of the change. I didn’t know what that would look like, but it had to become a reality. There was no ‘ignore’ option.
It was that desperation that largely inspired Round The UK On A Tenner A Day, starting off as a challenge to raise money for one incredible charity giving young people hope for the future and becoming a journey with the purpose of giving those who are already making a difference a voice and giving everyone else the opportunity to be part of something that’s creating a better future for us all. If you have a look at what I’ve written on the pages about One Life Share It or CommuniTea, you’ll see that we’ve stumbled across solutions on this journey. We’ve stumbled across people who are reversing the problems in their communities simply by harnessing the humanity of the people around them and bringing those people together.
One Life Share It is all about rebuilding community and bridging the gaps. In our society, and especially as young people, there is so much pressure on us to be competitive and better and to always strive for more – more money, more material gain, etc. That mindset is so deep-rooted within us that we start to equate it with our definition of happiness and success. One Life Share It is all about teaching everyone to value community, equality and belonging – the things that really matter, make our lives richer and our future brighter. One Life Share It is my future.
In turn, the people we’ve met who are putting One Life Share It into action have inspired CommuniTea – us providing a space for people from all walks of life to come together to bridge social divides. From the feedback we’ve had, just creating the opportunity for connection and conversation has had a hugely positive effect on mental health and people who’ve been feeling socially isolated.
I want to be able to tell the true and inspiring stories of those people who have seen a problem and found a solution to other young people to inspire them. We’re all aware of the problems we face, but we’re not always aware of the power we all have to change things. I want to spread the message amongst my generation that we must take ownership of our future and play our part in making a difference. We cannot sit and watch our lives play out before us, we have to decide what’s important and come together to move forward.
I can’t keep answering the phone to my friends crying any more, I’ve got to help put the power to change their lives and futures in their hands. We can’t just keep patching up the problems, we’ve got to find solutions and be part of them, we’ve got to be heard because when we use our voices, things do change.
My aim is to connect young people with solutions. When I look around me at the world I live in, I see young people who care but are struggling and I see projects that are changing the world and building a future for those young people. These two things are not connected, but they should be. Can you imagine what an entire generation of young people could do if we all had the opportunity to transform our communities?
That is my mission. By talking in schools and youth groups and by using online platforms, I want to share the solutions I’ve discovered, empower young people to act on the issues they care about and connect them with groups and movements in their local areas. It’s about people of all ages working together to build a better future and narrowing the divide between older and younger generations.
I want to give young people something to belong to. I want them to belong to One Life Share It, a network of people making a difference in their areas all over the UK, and I want them to belong to smaller groups and projects within their own communities.
With everything I do – from CommuniTea events to sharing my thoughts and experiences on my blog to using my passion (sailing) as a tool to teach self confidence and resilience – it’s all about showing young people what we can achieve when we believe in ourselves and work together.
If anyone can help me with that mission in any way or have any questions, please get in touch via our contact page – I’d absolutely LOVE to hear from you!