“Manchester Youth Zone. It has got me to where I am today”

Jake, 19

Jake joined MYZ at age 9 and was one of our very first members. He says it was a great place to come and do things there was always a good range of activities to take part in, rock climbing, sports arts it was always very lively. It was a great place to be, the staff were great and there was always something to do. As Jake got into seniors he didn’t come as much as he had other things to be doing including focussing on school where he really wanted to do well.
In 2017 he completed the young leaders course and learned how to run junior sessions and volunteered on these sessions for a couple of years – particularly supporting young people in sports activities and taking a lead in helping on the climbing wall.
He was such a prolific volunteer that he was nominated for the Youth Buzz Award, Charitable Fundraiser Award in November 2017 where he came runner up and Young Volunteer of the year award nominee – UK Fast, Community & Education awards, 2018.
Jake took full advantage of learning both inside and outside of the Youth Zone and applied 3 times to be a youth worker at Manchester Youth Zone. Unfortunately at every interview he was pipped at the post by someone more experienced. Manchester Youth Zone then decided based on Jake’s determination and commitment to create a youth work assistant role to give him that extra experience and support he needed. He was recently successful in securing a 16 hr week youth work position and thoroughly enjoys working with the juniors and is a valued and skilled staff member. Through his development of skills at college studying media he also uses these to benefit the youth zone creating internal videos and photographs to highlight the work here at events like fun days, inclusion work and regular social media. Manchester Youth Zone worked with Jake to draw down a Rising Stars grant from We Love Manchester and he was able to upgrade his photography equipment to professional standards. He is a confident tour guide with our visitors and most recently photographed the CEO for her press release when she received her OBE. He continues to take an active lead of raising the profile of MYZ and in supporting other children to be active and engaged.