The project gave us, with some help and guidance, a lot of space to do what we wanted to do. It was a lot of fun and I had never been to such a thing where we were given so much space to be creative.
I saw a post on Facebook for Bringing Up Baby and brought Mason along to it. It was 2016. I was very quiet and reserved in those days. I decided to take the plunge. In that time, I have learned so much.
Front lounge gives space for young people to explore the possibilities; I would never have known that I was good at working with kids had I not been given the chance able to explore other opportunities.
Front Lounge always gave me the support I needed- and gave me a lot of responsibility: if you want to do something you need to do it – no one will do it for you. Front Lounge provides a safe environment to bounce off others, and access to an extensive network of amazing people.
I have never worked with an organisation that works on so many projects at one time. Front Lounge is very supportive in helping people achieve their dreams and aspirations whatever they are.
Since 2001 we have travelled the length and breadth of the globe with a very simple message: Life is big, be all you can be! It was our mantra then and remains our mantra now.
Reflecting on helping to set up Bringing Up Baby: it is mental. We were doing these workshops and working with a steer from NHS Tayside and I felt it wasn’t doing anything. Standing here now 9 years down the road and I am so chuffed to bits: BUBS has spawned Kindred Clothing, and Kindred Clothing is redefining the future for Front Lounge.
Beyond support, I was given opportunities to do things and meet people I never would have, giving me more skills, experience and confidence to fall back on.
Front Lounge evolves with the needs of the community, appreciating what people want, always working on projects that people want to do. Front Lounge always responds to the needs of the community and never guesses what people want or does what they think suits the community. Front Lounge is ever evolving and that's what I love most.
Working with Front Lounge led the way to all the things I have done since then. I co-founded Diaosu, creating a space for artists, holding exhibitions, and building skills. It gave me a real love for the journey rather than the end result, the end result only tells half the story.
I was instrumental in setting up The Workshop in 2004 – the organisation’s current activity base – and creating several amazing arts projects in the early 2000s. Having a base made it feel like I was part of a community and really made a difference. It is something that I valued so much, I have opened a wee shop in Bishop Auckland that is doing exactly the same thing!
Front Lounge supported me by giving me the opportunities to follow my dreams. It gave me the opportunity to try new things and gave me the facilities and equipment to do so. Allowing me to open up and be the best I can be.
What I love about Front Lounge is the organisation listens to young people’s voices and gives them opportunity. We are usually told what to do, and we cannot put our own ideas into the activity. For the first experience with iGNiTE everyone was challenged to contribute. Whether they had experience or not, everyone had a place in the team.
Follow your own path. The world is not as scary as the news, or films make it out to be. People are nice. If you need help you can ask for it and often you will get it. If you are kind to people, people will be kind back.
All my volunteering from Front Lounge has given me the confidence to do what I want and has helped me to apply for university and actually get in. Front Lounge gave me exposure to the world and it has 100% helped me develop. I was given so much responsibility which in turn has given me the confidence to act even though the situation might be daunting.
All the projects have given me great knowledge. I am now able to have conversations with people with a better understanding. Front Lounge listens to young people and gives them confidence to choose what their next steps will be. This is very empowering and gives young people a voice.
It’s a strange thing you know- seeing a group of people who have never travelled, leading a project in a far away country. I felt as though it made such a difference, that the young people really grew, the relationship with the people we worked with grew, and we developed friendships that last to this day.
The work of Front Lounge helps anyone realise that they have potential through by getting to know them and building relationships, helping them realise their potential in the real world.
The roadshow part involved an iGNiTE team travelling around the country, offering different group the opportunity to get involved. I loved the idea of creating arts in different places. Despite my anxiety and nervousness about meeting new people I didn’t know, I seized the opportunity to get involved.
Front Lounge is an organisation that listens. You were very much listened to as a young person. They take your opinion very seriously.
Front Lounge gives me the opportunity to work on my skills. The international trips Front Lounge offers have given me connections that I wouldn't have had if I had never had this experience. These connections gave me the opportunity to travel to China on my own.
I want to make a difference and I was tired of failing constantly within the system. This is part of the reason I chose to become a carer, and I look after young people in continuing care in my home. Despite my anxiety and nervousness about meeting new people I didn’t know, I seized the opportunity to get involved.