10 Mar 2017

The Moment I knew the XLP Gap Year was for me

XLP makes me excited. Pure and simple. Several times when I’ve been talking about the work I’m doing during my gap year, people have told me that my face lights up and that I use my ‘excited voice’.

I went to an Open Day back in November 2015 where I met some amazing people - one of who is doing the gap year with me so good thing we stayed in touch! -  and visited a bus project in Lewisham.

This was my first experience of going on a refurbished, double-decker XLP bus. It was packed with young people connecting via Xbox, board games, computers, nail painting and music. By the end of our visit, I had 10 different coloured nails and wanted to stay longer. I ended up being the last of our group to get off the bus because the young girls I’d been chatting with couldn’t accept me leaving straight away. Sadly, in my eventual rush to get my jacket and go, I rushed the paint job!

When I got home, my mum was in shock as instead of the usual ‘it was fine’ response, I told her all about it; where we went, who I met and how I felt. At the end of my talking tirade, my mum stopped, looked at me and said “You never told me that much about your day before. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard your excited voice.”

And that’s it – I was excited about something for the first time in a long time.

Jo is halfway through her XLP Gap Year serving with Team Newham. We love Jo for her energy, commitment and insistence that we all sit on the floor for lunch! You can find out more about the gap year here and follow us on Instagram and Twitter.