From Refugee to meeting His Royal Highness Prince Charles - Youth Forum blog post

Blog post by Youth Forum member Ahmed.

Have you ever been nervous and excited at the same time?

It was Wednesday 28 October and I was suited and booted as I was informed: I’m meeting a VIP... Looking forward to the unknown and not allowing the British weather to stress my day.

It was 2pm when I arrived at the Bank of England and going through the security. I was collected by one of the hosts and had a long walk through different part of the building to get to this sophisticated room with just very few individuals. By 2.30pm I’ve been briefed on some of the logistics and what will potentially happen. I still couldn’t wait to see what was to happen at 3pm.

All of a sudden there were film cameras and photographers in the room and before I finished observing everything went quiet. All eyes were on the door hearing footsteps, voices and laughter. Who would walk though? 

Have you ever questioned your eyes if what you just saw is real?  Shut my eyes, wipe my face and opened them again. (Something we do in Nigeria to make sure this is reality and not a dream). What! Is that Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall? 

Before I knew it, the Royal party was in front of me. Alongside him was Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England. And here we were having a conversation about my involvement with the Bank of England Youth Forum and my journey as an unaccompanied asylum seeker to the UK. 

This moment was incredible and an amazing moment for me: excited and nervous at the same time. Charles told me: “You should be proud of the man you have become today helping other young people and contributing to the society.”

This has been the highlight of 2020 for me.

I feel privileged to be part of the Bank of England Youth Forum. It has been a great experience so far. I have gained skills that help me in my everyday life and knowledge about the important role the Bank plays in our society both economically and financially.  I now use what I’ve learnt to represent the Bank by raising awareness and educating young people from different backgrounds and community members/organisations.

“Every child is born for a reason and regardless of your background or where you come from, you’re unique in your own way.” Ahmed Mohammed

This page was last updated 31 January 2023

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