Kids Kabin Young Volunteer and North East Young Charity Champion of the Year 2019
Noor volunteered with Kids Kabin for four years before being named North East Charity Champion of the Year at the North East Charity Awards in 2019, when Kids Kabin was also named Small Charity of the Year.
From the Cowgate estate in Newcastle, Noor is committed to giving local children positive opportunities and bringing the community together. She told us about her experiences:
My brother, Lucky, comes to Kids Kabin and said I should come along, so I thought I could come and help. At first, my main objective was to get work experience, but then I realised Kids Kabin is somewhere kids know they're wanted, can feel free to express themselves and be calm and relaxed. I saw this and wanted to share it with other children.
Kids Kabin creates a sense of togetherness and community. I saw children being friends at Kids Kabin when out on the street they couldn't be because of peer pressure from other children. I already had an idea of what I wanted to do, but now I also know I’m really good with kids too.
Noor described what she learned at Kids Kabin:
I learned how to deal with a big group of children, how to communicate with them, develop trust and build positive relationships with them. I’ve also realised that no two children are the same. They all have so much potential – you sometimes don’t see this on the street where they are all trying to impress their friends and are all acting the same. But if you give them the opportunity, they can do brilliant things.
The best thing has been seeing kids growing up and developing their skills. One kid that had very little confidence could now run his own session.
Noor also explained some of the challenges facing her community - and what she’s been doing about it:
There's a lot of anti-social behaviour in our area, especially on Friday and Saturday evenings, when teenagers have been drinking; they walk along the street and are aggressive to children playing, and to adults – shouting and making racist and offensive comments.
I hope that when I meet with children at Kids Kabin and work with them, they'll realise I'm as normal as anyone else and when they grow up they'll be more tolerant of others.
If I know there’s a new child who has moved into the street and they’re struggling to settle and find friends, I’ll go and speak to their mum and let them know about what we do at Kids Kabin and encourage them to come. For the kids it’s about having somewhere to go where they can get on with something important. It’s a safe spot for kids, and that’s also great for adults as they know their kids are safe.