Croydon

They Helped Me Through TCFT Croydon

In my last post, I mentioned how Tina took the time to speak to me about TCFT Croydon, so it only seemed right to speak about a number of the special people who were involved in making TCFT Croydon 2018 what it was, especially when it all became crazy stressful.

Putting on TCFT Croydon can be a tough, and at times frustrating, process, which I would be unable to get through without particular people around me.  Tina is always there to support and offer her invaluable words of wisdom, but this was not the case on the final Sunday when she was unable to be there and a ton of things went wrong.  It was like a house of cards, collapsing one card after another, taking me out of sorts and unable to fully enjoy the day.

Photo by Peter Ball.

Nevertheless, there were people there who were able to pull me back from the brink and offer a sense of calm.  Darren gave me time to vent, as well as one of his amazing ‘Darren’ pep talks.  Foteini was there to lend a hand in any capacity, which was a true blessing, especially during lunch time.  My new friend Ellie was a great support, stepping in to take the morning warm up and facilitate the theatre segment, as well as being amazingly encouraging.  Liberty did an amazing job of pulling the music together, not giving me any cause for concern and creating a beautiful song.  And then there was Esi.

I’ve enjoyed getting to know Esi more over this year, since initially meeting her at one of my poetry nights last May.  She is a powerful poet and fantastic facilitator, who facilitated the poetry workshops for TCFT Croydon, and then stepped in to work with the visual arts group as well on the final Sunday, after an emergency meant that the visual arts facilitator couldn’t make it.  She got the visual artists to combine poetry with art, and she also worked on a collaborative piece with theatre and music – she was really doing it all.

Most of all, Esi was on hand to give me a pep talk as well, telling me not to be so hard on myself and bring to my attention that I had made a difference in the lives of at least one young person through TCFT Croydon.  She not only encouraged all of the young people and got great work out of them, but she also encouraged me when I needed it most.

Photo by Peter Ball.

TCFT Croydon 2018 got a brilliant kickstart from Lora and Rosie, who led out on the discussion segments on the first Sunday.  I could not have asked for a better pairing, who got exactly what I wanted out of the participants.  Lora also did some amazing work as a theatre facilitator on the following Sunday, which one of the volunteers and participants, John, gained a lot from.

I’m also grateful for the work Cedoux did with the young people who chose visual art, and the work that Alex did with those who chose music.  Cedoux also played a part in laying the foundation of the process with his infamous collaborative arts activity, which is always fun.

I’m extremely grateful for the support of those who were not there on the days, but who made TCFT Croydon possible, including Paula from the Council, Winston from Juvenis and Ruth from Spread The Word – I literally could not have made it happen without them and their generosity.  I’m extremely grateful to Turf Projects, First Floor Space and Theatre on the High Street for providing the workshop spaces.

I am very grateful for all of the volunteers, everyone who provided the lovely food, my mum for helping me to set up and clean, my dad for everything he did throughout the process, my sister for transporting me and to the lovely Glenn (you’ll hear more about him in another post) for being the muscle that helped me carry things.  In fact, I’m grateful to every individual and organisation who was involved and supported TCFT Croydon in any way.

The most important thing about TCFT Croydon is that participants enjoy and gain something from it, which they did, even when I was having a meltdown.  Everyone gave something different to the process, but there were four particular individuals who were ideal participants and made all the stresses of producing this type of project worthwhile.  I’m grateful for them.

All in all, I want to say thank you to everyone who was part of my TCFT Croydon journey in 2018.  I could not have made it happen without you.

Photo by Peter Ball.

My Short Film

As you may know, I’m passionate about young people and young people being the change they want to see in the world.  In fact, I want young people to use their voices, particularly through writing, to make themselves heard and start making those changes.

What you may not know, is that I recently made a short film with a charity called Fixers, which uses media to help young people ‘fix’ something in their community.  We thought that spoken word would be a powerful tool, so I wrote a spoken word piece (with a couple of lines added by my girl Britney), which became the script for the film.  This was actually the first time I wrote a spoken word piece, but as you know, I’m now all about writing poetry.

The film was shot in my beloved hometown of Croydon and I had some great young people reading the script — four of them just happened to be my friends and family (shout out to the beautiful Jemel, Rhianna, Nahed and Naomi).

When I eventually saw the film, I was so happy that I cried and I couldn’t wait to show it to everyone.  I had a launch for the film last Monday and it went live on YouTube the same day, giving everybody the opportunity to watch it.

But of course, I wanted to write a little something and share it with all of you, the community of bloggers who I love so much.  So below is the film and I hope you like it.  This is ‘What Would You Say?’

Staying Patient

Spending more time with my God, tuning into what He has to say and doing things to intentionally grow my faith is making changes in my life.

I can see myself developing, growing in confidence and motivation, and moving forward.  I can also see things happening in my life, and I know that is the doing of my God.

I am working on a number of different things in my life, including a business venture.  I know that it is going to take a lot of work, especially as I am setting up a youth organisation and trying to find freelance work, but I am willing to rise to the challenge.

Setting up a business is always what I wanted to do and this business venture combines something that I love with bringing the young community together in my home of Croydon.

I am currently in the research stages of my business and one of the ways I am conducting this research is through a survey.  It only takes a few minutes and I would love for you to take the survey and pass it on to other young people.  It would really mean a lot as I work to move forward: www.surveymonkey.com/s/58ND75F

I know that it is going to take time to get a significant number of responses and develop all of my ventures, but I know that I will be able to do it with God working with me.  I just have to continue being patient.