Youth Zone at Home: OnSide’s response to Covid-19
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Project Prom could not have been made possible without the support of ASOS, BooHoo, and Timpsons. Below are some awe-inspiring stories from across the OnSide network, demonstrating the enormous impact Project Prom has had on the lives of young people.
Being able to borrow a prom dress from Project Prom allowed me to attend my prom. This was important to me as it gave me the chance to celebrate leaving school with all my friends I had attended with over the last 5 years.
It was especially important as I would not be returning to that sixth form as I am moving on to the City of Liverpool College.
Being able to wear the dress that I borrowed from project prom gave me so much confidence and meant I could enjoy myself without my mum having to spend out money that we haven’t got.
A young man came to see us to borrow a suit, he was shy, nervous, timid and his body language reflected this as he leaned forward with closed shoulders and didn’t make eye contact.
His school had paid for his prom ticket and he was originally going to attend the prom in his school shirt and trousers, however, the Project Prom donations meant he was able to borrow a brand new suit.
The Youth Zone member and his mother were extremely touched and very emotional when we turned up at his house to deliver the full package.
This is a day this young man will never forget. We are filled with pride that together we have helped him attend his prom looking his best, feeling confident and free of the worries and stress of not fitting in or being conscious about what he was wearing.
That night he approached us with such confidence to thank us for what we had done.
His approach and demeanor was the complete opposite from the first meeting we had with him, he was confident, his body language had changed and he stood there chest wide open with a strong posture, confident and filled with pride.
Together with support from OnSide, the team at the Youth Zone have made this young man’s dream come true and demonstrated the impact of an OnSide Youth Zone.
Thank you to ASOS, Boohoo and Timpson from the entire team at Blackburn Youth Zone.
This young man originally started coming to an OnSide Youth Zone a couple of years ago, he was a refugee who had experienced and seen things no child should ever have to.
He spoke no English and struggled with his emotions. Due to initial struggles, we assigned him a key worker that supported him to adapt to life in England, support him with his health and well-being and in his time with the Youth Zone.
He needed to borrow a suit and we found the perfect suit for him however the leg length on the trousers were too long.
At the time some of our members were participating in a sewing course BYZ run with a partner here at the Youth Zone and they were given a practical assignment and altered the suit to fit him perfectly. Several other young people that attend the same school as this young man and also borrowed suits and dresses.
The Prom was held at a school that also runs a school for young people with disabilities on the same ground.
This is what the Youth Zone is all about and fits with our core values of being a safe space for young people and a place where young people of all abilities, ethnicities, faiths, sexualities all mix, have fun, make new friends and develop new skills.
This has highlighted the importance of the Youth Zone, reinforced why we do what we do and highlights the great difference that we are making to the lives of young people.