“I take part in everything at Whiz, and it’s good coz I’m doing the Duke of Edinburgh Award now. At first I thought it would be hard, but when I realised that it really meant taking part in the activities, it made sense to do it. I am much more confident in myself now, since coming to Whiz- I’ve made some friends too. I’m not sure what I want to do when I leave school, but I do know that whatever I choose to do, the DoEA will help me. I understand why it’s important to learn all the stuff I’m learning here too.”
young person (XXX), age 14
“I know it’s been some time since he started attending, but you should know how much I appreciate all the hard work you have put in. XXX is in a much better place. He’s much happier, and it’s written all over his face. He loves coming to Whiz; he especially loves the Thai boxing- his confidence had gone through the roof. He’s doing so well here and he’s been given opportunities that I wouldn’t have been able to fund otherwise- I am really pleased with his progress. Thank you!”
I’ve been coming for a year now… I am investing in a sport instead of wasting my life away. I am way more disciplined. I get up earlier, and train outside the project – It has impacted my eating also… I eat much healthier too, and that has impacted my stamina levels. I wouldn’t be able to train with consistency anywhere else, because I can’t afford it – it’s close to home also.
M, age 17
I’ve been coming for two years now, taking part in Thai boxing. I come here because i want to be healthier… it’s close to home and it’s free. I feel comfortable here, and everyone’s friendly. I’d probably just stay at home if it wasn’t happening.
W, age 17
I’ve been coming here for abouth 8 month now to take part in Thai boxing. I heard about it from a friend. I’d be hanging about the streets if this wasn’t here. I have something to focus on and keep me occupied.
A, age 15
I have been coming since I was 10yrs old, taking part in Tha boxing. It’s close to my Grans too – I live in Gorton, so I probably wouldn’t see her as much. If I didn’t come here I wouldn’t be doing anything. I prefer to come here than other places near me – I like it better because of the relaxed atmosphere.
S, age 13
I’ve been coming here for years now. I come here because it’s close to home and Thai boxing is free. I couldn’t afford it otherwise. I come here and the workers are great – I can talk to Steve about anything, and he’s a good trainer. I’ve been on lots of trips too, that I’ve only been with Whiz. I came just for something to do. I was getting into trouble at school and this place was like an escape and I could get support if I needed. I could get rid of my aggression through taking part in Thai boxing. Coming here means I can keep fit and healthy – I even eat healthy now.
A, age 18
Only just started coming to Whiz for Thai boxing – 4 weeks. I live in XXX and the youth clubs there have gang members there – I don’t want to go there – I don’t feel safe there – I feel safe here. This keeps me occupied, and gives me routine. I know exactly what I’m doing. My Mum doesn’t worry about me when she knows I’m here.
L, age 14
I’ve been coming about one year now, every week. I really love it – The fact that the Whiz has given me the chance to take part in Thai boxing is great because i wouldn’t be able to do it otherwise. I am much fitter, and I’ve gained skills. I’ve been challenged both physically and mentally. I love the challenge. I have competed in competitions also which has been fantastic. I wouldn’t be doing anything if I didn’t do this – I used to do stupid things when i was younger… I am much more mature and disciplined now. I am now taking part in other activities that I wouldn’t have done before this – I am more confident now. Thank god this place exists – I’ve met so many people here.
A, age 18
I’ve been coming for one year now. I take part in cooking and Thai boxing. The cooking is good because I don’t really do it at home, and its good to do it here – I really enjoy it. I have come up with ideas of what to cook and took lead – I learn it all here. It’s good, I have cooked at home now and my mum has been really surprised. I like the Thai boxing a lot – I’ve been competing at tournaments – it has all boosted my confidence a lot. I like it here coz there’s always stuff to do.
E, age 14
“I get involved in cooking every week — I go shop and buy stuff, chop up veg and meat and help cook it too. It’s always healthy and halal food too. I sometimes do the Thai boxing too, just to keep on top of my fitness levels. A lot of what I do involves me volunteering too. Getting involved in everything at Whiz has meant I can do the Duke of Edinburgh Award, which will eventually help me with going to college and even getting a job.”
Z, age 16
“In the Healthy eating project we do all the planning and sometimes buy the food from the local shops. Young people cook for all the people who come to Whiz on that day, making sure there’s always plenty for everyone. We make sure everybody is catered for, taking into account the different cultures. We cook Italian food [pasta], Mexican food [fajita wraps], Curries from India and Pakistan. we have made noodles in a stir fry which is from China. My favourite meal is the fajita wraps. I have learnt health and safety in the kitchen and food hygiene. I have got better at preparation of food. When we are in the kitchen we have to work as a team we all have a job to do and have to talk to each other so we are clear on the next step.”
U, age 15