Who Am I?

Hi!  I’m Angie McCormack and I work for Rochdale Youth Service as part of Rochdale Borough Council and am on the Youth Voice team, working mostly with Rochdale Borough Children’s Council and Youth Cabinet locally, regionally and nationally.  Everything I do is led by young people, for young people – I am just here to support them in having their voices heard and help them see things from different perspectives. The young people I work with also participate in interview panels, young inspectors, the Youth Opportunity Fund panel, events and campaigns to help improve the lives of their peers.  I love nature and the outdoors, I can be quite resilient and I like to put smiles on other people’s faces – very much a people person!

So, what got me into youth work?

I have always wanted to work with young people.  When I was 17, I was predicted two As and 2 Bs in my A-Levels and my plan in life was to go to Lancaster University and become a geography teacher.  That quickly changed when a cavernoma (cluster of abnormal blood vessels) erupted in my left temporal lobe and made me epileptic, having up to 7 seizures a day which mostly affected my speech and memory.  This changed my life significantly with me having to stop hobbies, driving, social life, changing my A-level results to 2 Ds and being told I had around 10 years left to live.  What frustrated me the most was how differently people saw and treated me simply because I was given the label of being disabled.  However, I wasn’t giving up and instead started to volunteer.  Aged 19, I did a gap year with YFC doing youth work in Dudley, after which I volunteered in the Church circuit across Rochdale and the Pennines.  When I was almost 21, I became very fortunate and had the cavernoma removed, which literally saved my life and left me seizure free.  Going through this experience as a teenager made me want to work with young people even more, help those who need it, listen to those going through struggles in life with circumstances they have no control over and I want to do as much as possible to help improve lives and services for young people.  This led to me doing my BA Hons Degree in Youth and Community Work and Applied Theology at Oxford Brookes University and after graduating 10 years ago, I got a job with Rochdale Youth Service, firstly as a detached youth worker in Heywood and Middleton, then an area worker in Spotland, Falinge and Syke and now focusing on youth voice.  I am still thoroughly loving my job and those I work with, especially when you see over the years what positive difference it makes to the lives of young people!

What else do I do?

Outside work, I have numerous hobbies!  My favourite is fell walking and me, my husband and our Patterdale Terrier, Basil, are currently bagging the Wainwrights in the Lake District – 91 done so far, only another 123 to go!  I also love horse riding and I play the piano – mostly classical music, but I enjoy listening to many other types of music too.  I am a big football fan and have always supported Leeds, sacrificing my season ticket after becoming a mum.  Hopefully we will go up this season after being relegated from the premier league 15 years ago!  I also enjoy watching tennis and help others experiencing epilepsy.

If you would like to get involved in the children’s council, youth cabinet, apply to be the next Member of UK Youth Parliament (MYP) or have any other questions, you are welcome to contact me at any time at angela.mccormack@rochdale.gov.uk or phone me on 01706 924296/07527 385 759.