Wednesday 17th February 2016
My name’s Paul and I’ve been coming to the Amberley youth project since I was nine years of age…I’m now 15 years old! Let me take you on a little journey throughout my life and show you how much this wonderful resilient and determined youth project helped me ever so well. My mum and dad split up when I was two years old, and ever since I’ve gone 13 years as a one parent child. This was a very difficult situation to grow up in east London with, because I used to look back at kids going nice places with their mums and dads and back where I used to live that story wouldn’t necessarily get you into the “cool kids squad” with just a parent also the fact that I was a middle-eastern I was always an outsider because every kid in my neighbourhood was a black/white race. I’ve happily moved from that haunting east side of London and got moved to a little estate called Amberley in 2009.
I’ve joined this project when I was 9 years old and I was as quite as a baby mouse, I lacked in confidence, was very impatient and was always quite scruffy but this little youth project changed that. I’ve met knew friends here who were also ONE PARENT CHILDREN! They were also the cool kids on the block. I’ve went on trips that I wouldn’t think of and once in a while the youth club would make their own unique trips like treasure hunts, they may be small trips but these “small trips” helped me in my confidence, my self-esteem and my co-operative skills to work and play with other.
But I wasn’t very perfect, Julie-Ann (a very wonderful manager) helped me… a lot I should say with bullies and mean people in the estate. Other than my mum i used to always run to Julie-Ann for help and guidance. She used to sit me down get me a cup of nice cold water and talk to me about my problems. But my problems with bullies didn’t end there. Problems with bullies were so sinister that my mum would grab my hand, run to the youth club and discuss things with the manager of the project (Julie-Ann) as things did get out of hand. I was always frightened when there was always half an hour left of school because I know I will go to the youth project and these bad kids will always be there. But Julie did believe in me and always gave me advice on how to carefully choose the friends I wanted to live with and have in my life. So i shut these horrible people out my life and did what I always wanted to do…SHINE!
And just like that my life went from the quite little scruffy one parent child with problems to what ill call myself the most responsible, resilient, independent, hard-working, funniest and talented at football handsome young lad with nice clothes in a matter of years and I couldn’t off done this without my mum, Julie-Ann and the youth members who dedicated and gave up a significant amount of time to help me get through my problems and I couldn’t thank them enough. Now, I like to look back at those difficult situations at times as the things that helped me become who I am today. I was always intelligent but now I’m doing very well as a 15 year old in year 10 doing my GCSE’s. I play football and play for a local team called Eagles FC United and the amberley u19 football team. But there was one thing left to do. I felt the need to find out what my dad was doing without me for so long. So with the confidence I gained from the youth project I asked my mum for his number and called him up…it was a very long story but nevertheless my daddy comes every weekend as an agreement from me and him to see his wonderful child.
Yours sincerely Paul Wilkinson