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‘Creative kids less likely to turn against society’
Friday, 19 August 2011
By Lindsay Burns
A YOUTH worker believes that stimulating young people’s creative side is the key to preventing future disorder and looting.
Natalie Lee, 21, works with youngsters at the Charlotte Turner Youth Club in Benbow Street, Deptford.
She said many had brilliant ideas and desperately wanted to be part of the community.
But Natalie said they believed society had a “negative” attitude towards them, leaving them feeling discouraged.
She started her job in February after four years as a volunteer with Greenwich and Lewisham Young People’s Theatre in Woolwich New Road, Woolwich.
Natalie, of Edison Grove, Woolwich, said: “I thought it was appalling to see so many young people and adults messing up their community. It takes a day to ruin it, but a lot longer to repair the damage. Now people need to come together.
“With all the cuts to youth services, there’s less and less for young people to do. But I think they should come together and help rebuild the community – become a part of it by doing something creative, maybe painting a canvas or something to make it look nicer, until the damage it cleared up.
“We also need to focus on what young people want to do and encourage them to express their ideas and feel a part of society.”
Natalie has been nominated for a South London Press Our Heroes Award as part of our campaign to highlight people’s achievements.
She was a shy 16-year-old when she started volunteering at the youth and young people’s theatre, but doing the youth work gave her the confidence to speak in front of large groups of people.
The former pupil of Thomas Tallis School in Kidbrooke Park Road, Kidbrooke, said: “I went back to my old school to do a presentation on the theatre. I would never have done anything like that when I was there.
“But I was, like, oh, there are my teachers – I know those people.
“It was a real sense of achievement.”
Natalie’s talent for public speaking resulted in her being invited to help host a conference on children’s rights at Charlton Athletic FC in 2008.
l Nominees’ stories will be given to a panel of judges in September to select winners.
The campaign ends with a gala ceremony at the South Bank headquarters of award sponsors Shell on November 15.
Copyright Tindle Newspapers Ltd Thursday, 20 June 2013
Other Our Heroes Awards 2011:
Sir Ray Tindle
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