972. Tom Rebair
Tom Rebair, from Newcastle, is a mental health campaigner who bravely shares his own story to help ‘The Prince’s Trust’ and ‘Young Minds’ reach thousands of young people in need of support.
22 year old Tom was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder and anorexia at 14. As a Young Ambassador for ‘The Prince’s Trust’ Tom spreads the word about The Trust’s work and helps to break down the stigma surrounding eating disorders, particularly in young men. He regularly speaks to audiences of more than 200 Trust supporters and has helped raise more than £75,000. Tom’s volunteering for mental health charity ‘Young Minds’ focuses on supporting those around young people spot the signs of mental health problems and to talk about it.
In a personal letter to Tom, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Through your work with ‘The Prince’s Trust’ and ‘Young Minds’ you are raising awareness of eating disorders and tackling the stigma that can too often surround conversations about mental health. The bravery you have displayed by speaking so openly about your personal struggles has given hope to so many other young people.”
Catherine McKinnell, MP for Newcastle Upon Tyne North, said:
“I am so pleased that Tom’s important work with leading charities like ‘The Prince’s Trust’ and ‘Young Minds’ is being recognised by the Prime Minister in this way.
“He should feel extremely proud of what he has achieved, and I have no doubt he still has so much more to give.
“I’m delighted to be able to share in today’s celebrations, and officially present Tom with his well-deserved Points of Light award.”
“Sitting in a hospital bed a couple of years ago, I never once thought I would be on this journey where I am today. I felt completely alone and trapped in a cycle of anorexic thoughts and behaviours, which left me in a specialist unit for over six months.
“But with huge support I received from ‘The Prince’s Trust’, I have achieved things I didn’t think I would and I’m here to tell the tale.
“Ever since, I’ve felt passionate about giving back to the community in whatever way I can. From talking opening about being a male suffering with an eating disorder, to helping open the conversation up about mental health – it is my way of saying thank you to all that have supported me along the way. To be given the opportunity to help other people and make something positive out a negative situation is a privilege, if I help just one person know that they are not alone that is enough.
“I feel incredibly honoured to receive this award; it brings me joy to know how much my voluntary work has been recognised. Thank you!”
The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.Volunteer now