John Age 23

Apr 7, 2021 | case studies

I first became a member of the youth club at the age of 15, I joined at the same time as many of my friends. BYC was a safe place for me and my friends to hang out and acted as an escapism from the dangers and reality of growing up in the inner city. Whilst in BYC I developed good positive relationships with the workers and other participants. During my time in BYC I was provided with many great opportunities to participant in several different programmes, in particular theatre shows through the drama section. Over the years I transitioned from being a young person in the club to a volunteer and helped out in the club. Participating in the aforementioned,  I developed many skills over the years that supported me in my professional career. I began my employment with M&S and while continuing to keep up my relationship with BYC through volunteering.  While progressing through the ranks in M&S I got the opportunity to develop a link with BYC and M&S.  This relationship continues to grow to date with many collaborations over the years.  One highlight of this would be our annual bag packing days which raises funds for the young people’s annual trip to the west end in London.  In 2019 M&S were celebrating 40 years in Ireland and I nominated BYC as one of the charities M&S would carry out their CSR day in.  I arranged with the Operations Manager in BYC Gillian (who was my youth leader back when I was 15) to bring my Manager (Peggy) down on a visit to BYC.  Once myself and Peggy visited, Peggy was blown away by the work BYC delivered and, decide that instead on M&S coming down to the club and spending 1 day there, we came down and spend 3 weeks in the youth club and gave the youth club a facelift.  In 2020 as part of the youth clubs restorative conversations programme, we were able to carry out a piece of collocated work between BYC and M&S. This entailed taking 16 young people from BYC and participating in several restorative conversation’s workshops in M&S headquarters in London as part of their annual London Trip that the group had bag packed to raised funds for in January.