From hostility to hope. A snapshot in time

We were two youth workers who were sent into a small estate in East London for 12 hours a week, over the course of a year. At one stage, the police refused to patrol the streets—and we were supposed to try and build community there! But what we found were willing residents and young people who wanted something different. Often the 12 hours were extended, and sometimes other youth workers joined us, as the situation required. Throughout the year, we got to know 134 young people of varying ages in and around the estate, building positive relationships with many of…

Talk about it

A few months ago I wrote and performed a poem called ‘Talk About It’ for a BBC radio event on mental health. When I was originally approached to write a poem, I was asked to write about how mental health affects young people. Just the thought of writing and performing a poem on such a serious and sensitive matter made me feel anxious. The feelings reminded me that I would not have been able to perform in front of people and on live radio as little as 5 years ago, due to my anxiety. So I decided to write about…