On the surface, Chandos Green may just seem like any other university graduate.
However, the 24-year-old spends his time trying to make life better for others.
After being told as a child that he would never get a GCSE, Chandos completed his degree in 2017 at the University of Chichester despite battling a brain tumour for the third time.
The Social Care and Social Work graduate now helps to break mental health barriers regularly posting videos talking about his own experiences with battling depression and his fight with “Timmy the Tumour”.
Bournemouth-born Chandos regularly shares motivational posts on social media in the hope of brightening up others’ lives.
Oh My Goodness was able to catch up with the inspirational graduate who co-founded #IFightFor, a community organisation based in Southern England that creates social change through creative and community youth volunteering projects.
He told Oh My Goodness: “I think the issue is that in society we’re taught everything has to be a certain way for perfect[ion].
“We have to live a certain lifestyle to be happy and to be content with who we are and if we don’t fit into those criteria for those which people define us by, our life somehow is not perfect and never will be.”
While doing his best to make life better for others, Chandos has been open about his own issues with mental health, and the challenges that come with having a disability, highlighting that it is ok to talk.
He praises the “small victories rather than big achievements” as his way to push through at times.
“There are days where I feel so drained not even just mentally but also physically because of my disability and it’s hard on those days. The motivation is there hidden behind like a brick wall and it’s about [moving those] bricks one by one.
“Just the other day I had all these emotions going through my head and I just didn’t know what I was really going through and it was hard to kind of connect my thoughts on that day.
“I just sat and let my emotions take control for a little bit because I think having me trying to construct them [and] having the time to let them express themselves sometimes a bit more is helpful.”
Chandos does not let his disability hold him back. In April 2018 he completed the 26.2-mile London marathon and now regularly travels around the country to talk at universities and involves himself in various other projects; last year he was on Radio 1’s Life Hacks podcast to talk about living with OCD.
When Chandos is not involving himself in various projects, he works on youth volunteering schemes through his co-founded charity, #IFightFor.
The community organisation based in Southern England creates social change through face to face and social media-based awareness campaigns, as well as commercial engagement and provision, to allow individuals support and to breakdown social barriers and access to employment.
#IFightFor prides itself on using the power of individuals joining together, and on equality for all, to create a world that embraces people’s commitment to volunteering for the benefit of others while also enabling a platform for personal development.
Chandos plans to take #IFightFor further to tackle the most vulnerable in Southern England.
“I’m currently working on fundraising applications and a campaign to raise money that can be used to set up a dedicated team of youth workers and social workers who will operate throughout the south to run bespoke campaigns and support groups for young people most vulnerable. It’s gonna take a bit of time but I know it’s an issue and service is much needed in the local communities across the south,” he said.
As for the future, Chandos says that he would like to do more workshops and continue to empower today’s youth in following their dreams; he recently started selling hats that say, ‘different not deficient’ on them.
He said: “How do we get more young people to follow their dreams despite having lifelong and chronic illness and disability and or mental health issues?
“This is kind of what the “different not deficient” merchandise is about. I’m going to try and get some more T-shirts with different slogans and different messages on to help convey the different journeys each young person may take in life.
“The sale of these will be used to invest in more products and into different campaigns that are run independently from #IFightFor but also the personal brand to help develop my career.”
You can follow Chandos’ inspirational journey on his Instagram.
Visit the #IFightFor website to learn more about the great work they do.
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