My Experiences of the Winch: Something Positive for Young People to Do


My Experiences of the Winch: Something Positive for Young People to Do

As part of a series of firsthand accounts of the Winch and our work within the community one of our young people speaks about his experience of first coming to The Winch and the work he now does supporting his local community.

"I first encountered the Winch when I was about, I’d say about 12, 11? I used to come to like, all the football sessions and stuff, when we had the old football pitch, all the tournaments and stuff. The Winch was always the best back in the day, cause we had that massive adventure park, the massive football pitch both of which are now a lot smaller unfortunately. There was the music studio as well where like 30 plus kids used to come, drop bars and which kids are still using today.

And then later down the line Paul (former CEO of The Winch) became our youth worker at St. Mary’s. When he moved to the Winch, me and a friend of mine moved to The Winch as well to see what it was all about. My friend started his gap year to become a Youth Worker and I joined The Company (a scheme teaching young people to become entrepreneurs). I enjoyed that a lot, and then started up my business which was like a football coaching thing, like a little soccer school, and then from there, got on to do the gap year scheme with St. Marys and been working with The Winch in the area ever since.

The Company was great in terms of the help and support because it was like four days a week and we had mentors as well as Winch Staff. I think The Winch helped me in terms of my public speaking before the gap scheme I’d never ever done public speaking I just hated it and then went on residentials, done practices, met with coaches and it started to build my confidence. I still coach or lead football sessions regularly and I have got my basic coaching qualifications.

Because when I was growing up I had youth workers and just him being in the community and being around. People got to know him and they start building trust with him and stuff like that. So from there you build relationship with everyone like different areas, even rival areas people are like “aw yeah that’s Jason” or “aw yeah that’s Emile”, “that’s Reece” and if you have a good reputation with the young people they start to trust you more and then they can talk to you, confide in you, and then tell you things they said they’d never tell like a different youth worker or a teacher.

For example I now work with The Winch in mentoring a group of local boys and we’ve built a relationship with them over a long time, so they feel they can trust us and like being around us, and then with the football stuff it gives them something to do which is crucial. I remember there was another group of young boys we used to chill with like when we was younger and they stopped coming to football and because of that they got involved in like gang activities and ended up in prison. So sometimes just being engaged and having something to do is enough and it shows the importance of what The Winch does."


You can find out more about The Company and the businesses our young people have set up here.

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