I have attended Inspire youth clubs and events since the age of 5. It started off with the regular youth club twice a week I gained a lot of my confidence from these clubs because I did not feel there was any judgement and I felt completely safe. I stayed at this club until I was 13 which then I joined a new group.
All of the girls would be able to sit and talk about things which concern us at our age or just have a chat. This session gives me something to look forward to or smile at even on my worst weeks which has helped me a lot during my hardest years of life.
The two main staff at this club know me inside and out they are always there to talk to if something was worrying me or if I was generally just feeling a bit down, they spoke to us like we were young adults, which was really refreshing from being spoken to like a child.
When I turned 14, I started volunteering for inspire youth at Kenton and Fawdon because I was inspired by all the work I had seen the staff do throughout my life.
I learnt so much in the first summer about all aspects of the business. From kids, to consent forms, to safeguarding and even data protection. I volunteered 5 days a week in the half term times whilst still attending my youth group.
This opportunity inspired me to work as hard as I could to achieve what I wanted. It taught me some days you can be super stressed, but some jobs are so rewarding, I volunteered up until I was 16 which then I was offered a job with inspire youth.
I also got a job at B&M’s, they said my cv was exceptional for my age this is because of all the volunteering. I was able to go into the interview confident and professional because I knew what a work environment was like already.
I worked many fun days with inspire youth and soon learnt some new skills like how to face paint, handle crafts and glitter tattoos, not only were these events very educational they were also some amazing memories in which I will remember for the rest of my life.
Inspire Youth Tyne & Wear (formerly known as Playinnewcastle) was created by Pamela Gill following council budget cuts.
The organisation is here to help and inspire young people throughout Tyne & Wear, by providing mentoring and a place for children to socialise.
With a team of 16 all originally from Tyne & Wear, and managers Pamela Gill and Leoni Gill at the forefront, the charity wants to emphasise its message of “enrichment beyond the classroom.”
“A lot of young people are being forgotten about and lost in the system, we don’t even want to think about where these young people could have ended up or what they’d be doing,” explains 25 year old senior play and youth leader Dillon Wilson.
When COVID-19 brought the UK and world to a standstill, Inspire Youth wanted to continue to help the local community.
Charities Buying Group donated PPE to Inspire Youth so food banks and youth clubs could continue. The donation included vinyl gloves, detergent wipes, face masks, visors, aprons, a non-contact thermometer, and hand sanitizer.
Throughout the pandemic, Inspire Youth distributed over 4,000 food parcels across Tyne & Wear. “One of my most memorable moments working with Inspire Youth was providing food parcels to families across Newcastle,” recalls senior play and youth leader Dillon Wilson.
The PPE donation enabled the charity to safely continue youth clubs on a smaller scale of 15 young people.
“We needed PPE, so with the help of Charities Buying Group we were able to give the kids a fantastic summer before another lockdown,” explains senior play and youth leader Dillon Wilson.
Once restrictions ease the charity is excited to welcome the youth of Tyne & Wear back into centres for a long overdue catch-up. With plans to provide more activities and specialised mentoring programmes.