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Impact Stories

Jessica’s story: “The Youth Zone has set me on a path I would never have considered.”

I’m not what you would call your typical girl.  I’m at my happiest when I’m beating the boys at football or working out in the gym. I think of myself as semi-confident and independent but it hasn’t always been this way.

I joined Carlisle Youth Zone six years ago when I was 11, I started in Junior Club and I was nervous and anxious a lot of the time. The unknown would worry me; new surroundings, new people, how and what to say to people, but finding new friends who understand me and believe in me really made me who I am today.

The Youth Zone really has become a second home to me. It’s somewhere I can be myself, somewhere I can escape to when things are difficult at home and somewhere that has taught me so many skills which will help me later in life.

I’m a Young Leader at the Youth Zone and I run my own session in the Junior Club. I love it and it’s really boosted my confidence and shown me that I have leadership qualities. When I’m not playing football or supporting the Juniors I really love to sit and chat to Youth Workers. I feel really comfortable around Liz in particular, she’s someone who always listens and I can share my highs and lows with her.

I found it really hard being away from the Youth Zone during covid, my situation at home has got me down and I’ve struggled a lot with day to day stuff. I stopped going to college for a while but Liz spent some time with me creating a 4-week plan to get me back on track and get back to college to continue my Level 2 Sport Course as I would love to go to University in the future.

The Youth Zone has helped me so much, it’s set me on a path which without its support I would never have considered.

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