Yousuf Javed, 20, of Forest Gate, is dedicated to improving youth culture in his local community. Yousuf is a volunteer at Forest Gate Youth Zone and in 2013 initiated a Friday night roller disco which proved hugely popular with young people of all ages!
Yousuf had been roller skating with his friends for several years; however he had always struggled to find a suitable indoor location until he approached his local youth club, which he has attended since he was 11. To promote the new Friday night event, Yousuf and his friends did a showcase for the young people who attend the club.
“The tricks we were doing created a wow factor for the young people. They were very enthusiastic to try it themselves. The roller discos create a vibrant scene and encourage communication and interaction between the young people.”
Until recently, the club only had one pair of skates and had to rely on members to source their own. However, when youth club attendee Paul Foster won an Achievement Award, the club were able to purchase seven new pairs of indoor skates for the disco. The skates are rotated regularly, and some children have bought their own because they enjoy the activity so much.
Yousuf, who won a Jack Petchey Award in 2012 for his personal development into becoming a youth leader, has also helped develop the youth club’s music and gym facilities. He has set up a recording studio complete with a vocal booth, which he hopes to sound-proof in the near future. “I want to encourage young people to express their feelings through the microphone, not on the streets”.
Forest Gate Youth Zone now attracts over 50 members, and has a range of programs available for young people to get involved in. Recently the club initiated the Street League program, which changes lives through football, and joined the Challenge network – a government summer activity programme. To find out more about Forest Gate Youth Zone, email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to join the mailing list!
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