End of Year Celebration – January 2017

A huge thank you to everybody that came to Hope for the Young’s End of Year Celebration last Sunday that the amazing Muna and her friends at Book and Kitchen hosted for us.

Over 30 people came to the beautiful space that is Book and Kitchen in Notting Hill (Our dream is to one day have a space like this for Hope for the Young, so keep your eyes peeled!) We all learnt about the amazing achievements that the young people have made since meeting their Mentors and it was truly inspiring to hear the young people talking about their successes – many were not able to speak any English when first matched and so just hearing how much they have improved was awesome!

We had a delicious array of food cooked by Muna that I can safely say we all demolished. We played active games and icebreakers, and the brilliant Kathryn led a vocal warm up/confidence building exercise that had us all shouting, making silly noises and giggling!

The young people had a chance to learn how to play chess against one another and I definitely saw some emerging talent! They also had a go at playing the piano, guitars and drums and finished the day by learning to sing a song with Telen, the wonderful musician.

Many of the photos that were taken on the day were taken by the young people themselves and we will put these on our social media pages and website as soon as we can!

The day also gave a chance for the young people to meet one another and make new friends. Numbers were exchanged and we learnt friendships had been created without us even knowing! One young person said to me they didn’t realise other people had a Mentor too!

Book and Kitchen may be hosting other group events for Hope for the Young in the future with different themes and activities for those that are interested so we will keep you all posted about when these are. We want to say a huge thank you to Book and kitchen for making everybody at Hope for the Young feel so welcome. It is a space in which we all look forward to using from now on.

I just wanted to send an email to say thank-you so much for today. It was much needed I am sure for us all. I spent most of yesterday feeling completely distraught but listening to all the achievements of the young people from their mentors today helped remind me of all the incredible things people achieve every day. The beautiful song we all learnt and sung together and your words of ‘you are always welcome in this space’ were particularly poignant for me. It is so vital that all our young mentees know that we welcome them here and they are important and incredibly valuable young people. Muna’s hospitality was wonderful so please do thank her again from us all.
Thank you so much for a really fun day yesterday. It was great to get to know some of the mentors and mentees a little better. It appears that many of the mentees have enormously developed in confidence, which was lovely to see. My Mentee had a brilliant time learning Chess and I think I’ll learn how to play too so it can be an activity we do together.

Matt Blacker

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