Comedy Central UK supports Youth at Risk, an inspirational charity that works with young people in the UK to help them reach their full potential. Read on for more details of their brilliant work.
WHAT IS THE TOUGHEST THING ABOUT TURNING YOUR LIFE AROUND?All young people, no matter their start, can be the best.
A wake up call, a line in the sand.This is what we do.
Absolute compassion, absolute love.
Wings to fly.
It is our passion.
Love is the toughest thing.“If it hadn’t been for Youth at Risk, I don’t think I would be living on the outside world, I would definitely be in prison, Youth at Risk is the best thing that I have ever done, I believe that the course actually saved my life."
NOT OKAYYou know how it goes: Mum chucked me out when I was 16, always being sent to different schools, dad wasn’t around so I was on my own apart from my big brother, then he committed suicide and that’s when my life got worse. I started taking drugs and drinking, getting into fights, getting arrested.
Ring any bells? Well, we don’t buy it.
But then, we don’t criticise young people. We don’t treat them like sheep. We don’t patronise them. And guess what? We never stop being amazed at how big, brave and talented, how brilliant our young people are.
WHAT'S GOING ON?We get this by talking and listening: Who are you? What do you really want from life? How can we help you get it? Let’s work out how you can be whoever you want to be.
But let’s not kid ourselves that this is easy stuff. We’ll get right in your face. You’re going to dig deep. You’ll get into a conversation that goes to the heart of who you are, the heart of who you want to be. You’ll get angry, you’ll get scared. You’ll show us your hurt, your fear, your rage. We’ll stop you in your tracks and demand to know, “What’s going on with you?”
I thought we would go on the course for a laugh. I tried to muck about and the bad side would come out in me. I threw shampoo on the volunteer.
The trainers helped us understand why we felt the way we felt and that the way we was feeling was not our faults, it all started to make sense and even in the four days I felt like a whole weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
ALL OR NOTHINGAnd it’s not enough for us adults to sit around on the sidelines and watch. We need to roll up our sleeves and get stuck in. So, we are just as up front with teachers, social workers, probation officers, in fact with anyone who works with young people. So if, as an adult, you want to volunteer with us then that is fantastic but bear in mind that we’ll cut you no slack either, whether you’re a lawyer a policeman or business executive. And in return, you’ll get one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll ever have.
I now have a volunteer coach who keeps in contact three times a week to make sure I'm keeping on track. Once a month we meet up with the other young people from our group, just to keep us on form.
THE END OF THE BEGINNINGTogether we’ll see this thing out. We promise to be with you every step of the way. By the end you’ll be able to let go of the hurt, the fear and the rage. You’ll know what’s going on with you. You’ll get things sorted. And finally it’s time to make that new start.
I’ve built my relationship back up with my mum, she is so proud. I'm more confident around new people. I talk to people with more respect and treat people how I want to be treated. I'm getting an apprenticeship on an accountancy course. The trainer helped me with that.
All I can say is anyone that gets an opportunity to go on this programme grab it with both hands.
Volunteer here: www.youthatrisk.org
You can donate to Youth at Risk from your mobile phone sending the text code RISK11 followed by the amount you wish to donate to 70070. It is possible to donate £1, £2, £3, £4, £5, and £10. E.g. to donate £2 it would be 'RISK11 £2'.