As the first person in her family to go to university, Anbreen studied medicine at the University of Cambridge, before joining King’s to start a master’s in Psychiatric Research.
It is the quality of the relationships that made the difference and enabled her to find her feet and thrive at Cambridge, despite feeling out of place at times.
‘There weren’t many people of my background – working class, BAME, having grown up relying on benefits,’ she remembers. ‘But I had family and friends just a call away. They spurred me on, kept me going.’
Anbreen first met staff from fastn at the Board Bank trustee fair. This event was organised in partnership with KCLSU and local charity Getting on Board, to match students and staff with local and national charities who are looking to draw on young people’s skills, enthusiasm, and energy.
Working in King’s local communities, fastn believes that investing in healthy, dependable and nurturing relationships from an early age can help people thrive throughout life.
It is an approach that resonated with Anbreen. For her, positive relationships are about ‘being open with people you trust, not being judgemental, but listening, respecting each other and offering reciprocal support. I am invested in my family and friends’ growth and I know they are invested in mine.’
Her approach to life also means creating opportunities for others. She has worked with charities since the age of 16 and now also works with a social mobility organisation supporting people to break through barriers to succeed.
Anbreen says that her own experiences are of real value in themselves to any charity wanting to grow and become more representative of the society it serves. ‘I want to make sure that voices like mine are heard and encourage others to make their voices heard too,’ she says.
She also wants to apply her early career professional skills from her background in medicine and mental health in the boardroom, where positive relationships between trustees and staff help a charity deliver for its beneficiaries.
Anbreen is ambitious for the charity sector but also recognises that volunteering to be a trustee will help her develop new skills.
She says: ‘I have never sat on a board and it is a great opportunity to learn more about finance, governance and build on existing skills like communication and teamwork that will support me in my future career.’