Meet Our Young People
Tom struggled with his confidence and anxiety for as long as he can remember...
Then he began powerlifting and found OPEN. OPEN provided him with the opportunity to “meet new people, create friendships, get fit and focus”. Without the support that OPEN provided, Tom says “I would be lost…would not have met all the amazing people and friends or have been able to learn new skills”. He has come a long way and achieved an incredible amount, competing in this year’s All England Championships, as well as many other events.
Shahan came to OPEN after moving to England from Pakistan 7 years ago...
He was 'always into outdoor sports', but was scared of heights. When he met Dan, OPEN's climbing instructor who Shahan says 'was an inspiration', he was motivated to push himself and became heavily involved with the different classes on offer. He has progressed over the years, and is now a volunteer instructor on many of the courses, teaching young people and adults of all abilities the sport he has grown to love. Without OPEN, Shahan says he 'wouldn't know himself as well', and that his time at OPEN is rewarding and 'keeps him fit'.
Katie began volunteering with OPEN when it first began after being selected local youth group leaders to represent young people...
During her time she had a variety of volunteering opportunities, such as working with the BBC to create a radio show, meeting with the Education secretary to discuss the issues facing young people, meeting Prince Edward and taking part in the Lord Mayors Procession along with opportunities in employability and education that she says helped her in her future. She says: "Volunteering with OPEN was very useful for job and university applications, as well as helping me complete my Bronze and Gold DofE awards. OPEN helped develop my research and presentation skills, which I still use regularly to this day". She is now an equine vet, even being chosen as the official vet for the Norfolk Show.
Tomas says he "can't imagine life without OPEN"...
"It's given me new friends and amazing opportunities like the launch of our poetry anthology" he says. Tomas volunteers at OPEN, whilst also participating in numerous groups and activities himself. His favourite group is OPEN Creatives - a creative writing group run for young people aged 9 and over. He says "it has been amazing, it's allowed me to open up and participate in poetry".
Watch Tomas perform 'Tell My Ghost', a poem he wrote as part of the OPEN Creatives group that was featured in the OPEN Creatives Anthology: