Kids Kabin Young Volunteer
Noor is 19 and has been a volunteer with Kids Kabin for three-and-a-half years. She lives on the Cowgate estate in Newcastle and is committed to giving local children positive opportunities and bringing the community together. She tells 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 that Kids Kabin was somewhere kids know they are 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 could not 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 describes what she has seen and learnt at Kids Kabin:
I have learnt how to deal with a big group of children all of whom can be difficult and can be great. I’ve learnt how to communicate with children, gain their 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 explains some of the challenges facing the community she lives in - and what she’s trying to do about it:
There is 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 who look at them – shouting and making racist and offensive comments.
I hope that when I meet with children at Kids Kabin and work with them, they will realise that I am as normal as anyone else and that when they grow up they will 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 then 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.