Youth at Risk Lifeline


Youth at Risk

Nick Grimshaw presents an appeal on behalf of Youth at Risk, which helps young people to take control of their lives and raise their ambitions.


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Transcript


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For some teenagers, life can be really tough.

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No-one really liked me, and I had to be by myself where it was better...

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safer. Cos I was scared of other people.

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I struggled with self-esteem.

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My confidence was really low.

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I felt really lonely, left out and sad.

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I hear from a lot of young people who feel on their own in

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difficult or dangerous situations.

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Maybe they're being bullied

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or maybe they're being drawn into crime or maybe they've got,

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like, difficult home life,

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and their parents are suffering from drug or alcohol problems.

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And just imagine what that would do for your self-esteem,

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and what that would do to your beliefs in the chances of a happy future.

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Paige is 17, and is working hard at her summer job in

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a local theme park.

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There we go. The park closes at ten tonight, so you've got lots of time.

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But getting here hasn't been easy.

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When Paige was born, her mum was only 15,

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and she had her own issues to deal with.

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Home life was fraught with rows,

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and Paige was bullied at school for her skin colour.

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I got diagnosed with depression when I was 14.

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I was angry at the people that was hurting me.

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And no-one was listening to me.

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I started being antisocial and I kept on running away.

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And I got in with people that were drinking, that were older.

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And I stayed out quite late. Kind of getting in trouble.

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Things got really bad for Paige.

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She was bunking off school and even self-harmed.

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But then she heard about a charity that helps young people to

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find their way, no matter how far off-track they've travelled.

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The charity is called Youth At Risk, and what it does is put on

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these life-coaching courses for teenagers and for young adults.

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Youth At Risk asks them to identify what is that thing that's

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stopping them from getting what they want out of life.

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And what can be done to achieve it.

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Youth At Risk encourages teenagers to see themselves and their

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problems differently.

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Can you go back and change what happened to you, Jesse? No. No.

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What can you change? The future.

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This is one of the charity's tough five-day,

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intensive training courses.

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Paige also went on one of these.

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Hi, Paige. Hello. How are you? How you doing? I'm good, you?

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'I wanted to ask her how the course worked.'

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Well, the five-day intensive is very hard, cos, you know,

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you've got to be ready to change.

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You get paired with a coach and you have to work with them and

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try and get an understanding of how you feel about yourself.

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Who was your coach, and what did they do for you?

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My coach was called Dion, and I think she was, like,

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the first proper black woman that I properly met,

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and I think that was quite encouraging,

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because now I feel happy to be black. So, that's good.

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That's important, to like yourself. It is, very. Of course.

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And then what changed in your life outside of the course,

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once it was completed.

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Erm, I moved into foster care, so I left my family home,

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and that helped me kind of focus.

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My coach was quite on my case, getting me to finish my GCSEs.

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And I've got a lovely family now, and my bond with my mum is really

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growing, so I think that's quite a big thing for me.

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Paige's turnaround shows how much Youth At Risk can do.

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The young people on the charity's programmes increase their

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ambitions, refocus on their education, or start a job.

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At the end of the course, they sum up how they see themselves now.

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I am focused, responsible, and committed.

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Standing up for who I am, and who I'm yet to be.

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The next stage for the new graduates is six months of work with

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their life coaches, who'll help them stay on track.

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They're volunteers and come from all walks of life.

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It's a fantastic opportunity for somebody locally, within

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my community, who I can help transform their lives.

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I was very shy before I started, but now I'm more confident,

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and...it feels great.

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These amazing, brave teenagers turn to Youth At Risk when they are

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out of other options.

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And the charity challenges them to stop blaming other people for

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their problems, and just to take responsibility into their own hands.

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And this isn't always easy,

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but they really believe that the tough love approach is the

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way to handle things, because, at the end of the day,

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the only person that you can change is yourself.

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Youth At Risk has already helped nearly 20,000 young people

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across the UK since they started 24 years ago.

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Dave was one of their early recruits,

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back in the 1990s in South London.

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He is now 37 and lives in Cornwall with his partner and baby daughter.

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But the young Dave had some pretty big demons to fight.

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I'd been bullied early on in my life

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and I'd actually become what I hated most...which was a bully.

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My family had a reputation, where I come from,

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and, you know, I felt like I had to live up to it.

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Also, my mum at that time she was quite ill.

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Mental health problems and suicide attempts.

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So, growing up, that was quite difficult to deal with.

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Dave had a history of offending,

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but then saw a poster for a Youth At Risk course in the police station.

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I began, for the first time, speaking about my mum.

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There was a lot of tears. And a lot of anger, as well.

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It's about realising that I shouldn't blame myself.

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I've had bad things happen, but it's up to me how I deal with the future.

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Dave is now a Youth At Risk ambassador,

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giving talks and helping out on their courses across the country.

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Good girl. Stay still.

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'My life without Youth At Risk I think would have been

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'a lifetime of prison or I'd have probably been dead.'

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So, erm, yeah, Youth At Risk really did save my life.

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Youth At Risk does incredible work with young people who are

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living right on the edge.

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Teenagers who need a real positive way to deal with some really

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difficult situations.

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But none of this is cheap, and they need your help.

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Especially as they have some great stuff coming up.

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ALL: Cheese!

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Youth At Risk have just run a really successful pilot project here

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in Hackney, in London.

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You see so much bad news, so much negativity.

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These young people have bucked that trend.

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Each one of the 13 young people on the course

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has been inspired to change.

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Because of you lot, I have stepped to a different way in life,

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a different path.

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And I thank you for that. APPLAUSE

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With success like this, Youth At Risk can now roll out their

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programme of courses here, too.

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Their aim is to help another 300 kids like Paige and Dave.

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But it's going to take some serious funding.

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You can help more young people have a crack at being happy, safe,

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and strong enough to deal with the problems that life throws at them.

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A ?10 donation will cover the costs of

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a young person getting to and from a Youth At Risk course,

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and the charity don't want people to miss out on this opportunity

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simply because they can't afford to get there.

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A ?20 donation will cover the costs of a volunteer life coach,

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and help somebody get closer to achieving their goals.

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So, make a big difference to a young person's future

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by donating - right now.

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To give by phone, call...

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Calls are free from mobiles and landlines.

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Texts costs ?10 plus your standard network message charge,

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and the whole ?10 goes to Youth At Risk.

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For full terms and conditions, or to make a donation online,

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visit the Lifeline website at...

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Or if you'd like to post a donation,

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please make your cheque payable to Youth At Risk and send it to

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Freepost, BBC Lifeline Appeal, writing "Youth At Risk" on the

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back of the envelope.

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Thank you.

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Nick Grimshaw presents an appeal on behalf of Youth at Risk. Most teenagers have difficult times now and then, but some young people struggle with extremely tough problems like being bullied, getting drawn into crime or coping with parents who have drug or alcohol problems. The charity Youth at Risk uses a tough-love approach to encourage young people to take control of their lives and raise their ambitions.

Seventeen-year-old Paige had a fraught relationship with her mum and felt depressed and isolated as a black girl in a mainly white school. She started running away from home, truanting and getting into trouble. Thanks to the intensive Youth at Risk training course and her supportive life coach, Paige turned her life around just in time to pass her GCSEs and is now studying for her A-levels.