Coping with the Manchester Arena Bombings has been the biggest struggle in my life. May 22nd 2017 is a day I will never forget, after Manchester I went into counselling which helped me a lot. I also found help through my love of animals and horses, I stared volunteering locally with horses and it took my mind away from the hurt, when I am able to focus on the horses needs for a little while I begin to think less about what happened and more about what I’m doing. I start to feel calmer and less stressed.

I have lost a lot of confidence as a result of that day, I now feel scared to go certain places and I always think about whether I’m safe, I always feel worried. It’s been a year and I still constantly think about Manchester and what went on that night however I am proud of myself. I have sought support and I’ve had so many amazing people helping me, I feel I can now cope with it better.

Anyone who has gone through trauma in their life or is coping with something very hard at the moment, I’d say it’s always good to talk about it no matter how silly you feel, always talk about what you’re going through it really does help.

Courtney’s FIVE tips to deal with Trauma
1. Do what you love – Spend time with animals, do your favourite activity or go outdoors.
2. A safe place to talk with someone you trust – a professional, a parent, a counsellor or a friend.
3. Use your Voice – speak about your experience it will help others feel they can do the same.
4. Find Support – have contact with others who boost you up, find a support group.
5. Help others – Volunteer! Helping others helps you too.

I’m also a Change Maker Volunteer our group gives other young people a voice and helps them to act on things which are important to them, if you would like to know more about what we do please visit the V Inspired website here. I’ve learned that part of helping others is sharing my experiences and letting other young people know they are not alone. I am thinking of developing a project aimed at supporting young people through trauma, I’m open to ideas, if you can help or would like to get involved please contact .

Interesting Fact: Courtney’s favourite film is Seabiscuit made in 2003 (American equestrian sports film directed by Gary Ross). Courtney likes the film because it looks at the special relationship between horses and people. Courtney said “It is a meaningful film which reminds you that you can achieve your ambitions no matter how many obstacles there are to overcome”

To get more information about how horses can help to heal visit:

If you have been affected by the Manchester bombing, there is help and advice available to you. You can access help from the following services:
NHS Psychological Therapies Service – 01606 555260
Samaritans – 116 123
Available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Childline – 0800 1111
A helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number won’t show up on your phone bill.

PAPYRUS – 0800 068 41 41
A voluntary organisation supporting teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal

The Sanctuary – 0300 003 7029
A 24 hour service available every day of the year for people who are struggling to cope and are experiencing depression, anxiety, panic attacks or are in a crisis.

To help support the Projects4Change Youth Social Action North East Change Maker Volunteer Programme, funded by #iwill please visit our GoFundMe page here.