I remember coming when I was about 10, I met [KWMC Community Engagement Manager] Makala on Filwood Broadway at an event and we did some journalism work. Then we went to the Mouth of the South club. It was in the old building and then Ruthven Road and then came back into the new building. I did the ASDAN award with all my work at Mouth of the South, and I still have the folder of all the magazines we made. We went out to local events and I did interviews and wrote articles about it. We did the logo and other people did the photos and the design.
I think the building and the service from a young person’s perspective is a building that’s kept going despite all the cuts and kept going giving services to young people with media that they might not necessarily get otherwise. There is loads that goes on here I can’t even keep up with it. It just shows that it is a good thing for the area: the fact that it keeps going and the Knowledge Newsletter is still going for the community and its good to hear the young people’s journalism is starting back up.
It helped me find something I was interested in and a passion – then I went on to study media in 6th form and I remember coming back for a reference for college and I ended up getting an A for my first lot of coursework and a C overall. Without the push of doing media at a young age I don’t think I would have believed it was something that was possible for me, something that I could actually do. I’m always on the go looking for different things to volunteer and to apply for and to get recognised (I applied for Big Brother this year).
The experiences here have given me the confidence in myself to get out and try new things but if I didn’t have those experiences I wouldn’t think I could do that. Eventually I decided to go into youth work, which I do at the moment, and in the future I still think about doing more media in my future career.
I think it makes an impact on young [people] because even when I see people we used to go to the group with, we talk and remember things – people always remember the good experiences like the film festivals. I remember we walked around with cameras to document it and interview people and we felt important and got to interview the rappers. It was great to feel important and had a real job and in charge of something and the responsibility.
I can remember going to the Evening Post building and seeing how they wrote their articles and how there were editors and saw all the production. I can remember when we made a poster and they were blown up massive and they were put up everywhere to recruit people for our project, and it felt great to be valued and be important. I can remember as well when we were in the old building here and someone from Blue Peter came and we all got a Blue Peter sticker.
And when the lady from the Guardian came and interviewed us about what we do and we were in the Guardian – I was in the picture, the headline said: ‘How the Westers won’ and I felt a real sense of achievement to be in a national paper recognising the work we were doing.