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Impact Stories

Jonathan’s story “Everyone who is here will be in my heart.”

I have been attending sessions at the Youth Zone for 12 years now, being involved in over 900 sessions throughout my time at the Youth Zone. I have done many different things and grown up with the Youth Zone being a big part of my life. I was a young teenager when I started and now I am 24 and my time being able to come to the Youth Zone is coming to an end.

I was nervous but more excited about coming to the Youth Zone when I first started. I was looking forward to meeting people Would I see people I knew from outside of the Youth Zone or would I meet new people? I was looking forward to meeting everyone including the staff as well.

The Youth Zone has allowed me to socialise with my friends and do fun activities. I have always enjoyed football and taken part in all the football sessions I could while attending the Youth Zone. The activities and chance to socialise is great but the staff team have really helped me when this have been difficult. I lost a family member and found it really difficult to process my grief. I was unable to say how I was feeling, I wrote it down passed it to a staff member who took the time to read it. 

They found time to talk to me and checked in with me multiple times while I was processing everything. By them having time to talk to me, it helped me to process my grief.

With the support from the team at the Youth Zone I learnt coping mechanisms and how to allow myself to remember the family member in a positive way. Not letting the loss take away the special memories I have of my family member. I also learnt a lot about relationships and how to build strong meaningful relationships that have developed into lifelong friendships. I have had help and support when relationships have gone through difficult times and found ways to get through them. I now understand the importance of friendships and how friends are not always people you see daily but are there when you need them.

Next year will be my final year at Carlisle Youth Zone, I am never going to forget anyone. Everyone who is here will be in my heart. I will try and visit as much as I can or come back and volunteer.