Diane Haimeed has been a youth worker in Burngreave and Fir Vale for over 6 years, working with Sheffield Futures and the Yemeni Community Association's Study Support Project. In November she received the City's recognition for her hard work, in the Sheffield Night of Honours Awards. From a long list of Sheffield's workers and volunteers, Diane was chosen for the Investors in Children Award.
Study Support students Rafaidah Al- Duais, Nama Hussan, Aneela Arshad, interviewed Diane for the Messenger.
Who influenced you to become an Investor in Children?
Firstly it was my old boss Abdul Shaif, who was the chair of the Yemeni Community Association. I started out as a volunteer at the Milan Centre. I could see there was a lack of services for young people and I wanted to fill the gap.
How did you feel when you were chosen for the award out of loads of people?
I was really shocked, I didn't think I was going to win the award. There were lots of people who deserved the award and had worked really hard. I do the work because I love it, and I never expected to get an award for it.
Who has helped you achieve what you have?
My family, friends and the community have helped me.
What GCSEs did you get to do your job?
I passed my GCSEs - I used to go to Earl Marshal, before it was Fir Vale school, and it was failing, but I still got 8 GCSEs A-C, which shows you can do anything when you set your mind to it. But with this job is about having a passion more than anything. I started doing the job voluntarily and then was offered paid work.
What did you want to be when you were young?
An air hostess. I really wanted to travel. But I like working with young people, I get great satisfaction helping them progress to higher education or to become positive role models for others.
What advice would you give to young people?
Study and work hard. And take advantage of the support available to them.
How would you feel if you saw one of your students getting an award on TV?
I'd be delighted, and really proud. I think I'd cry!
What do you think that you still haven't achieved?
A lot more can be done for young people - it doesn't happen and that disappoints me. I wish there was more funding to do more with young people.
Are you happy with the amount of money you get from funding?
No! Funding for Study Support ends in July and it's a real worry. What will happen to the young people? What will happen to those who need help to get to college or those that are excluded from school? We have to keep looking for funding to keep it going.
Do you do any other jobs?
This is all I do, it takes up all my time. We're always trying new things so it's never boring. It's about job satisfaction, and I get a lot out of seeing the benefits for young people. I'd do it even if I didn't get paid.
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