Matthew Parncutt, 12
Matthew’s story illustrates the importance of being there for young people through each of their personal journeys to strengthen and increase the long term impact of targeted programmes.
Prior to joining Wigan Youth Zone during the first Lockdown, Matthew was very quiet. His confidence has improved massively since he first started attending. He was instantly impressed with our purpose built skate park when he first attended, and has since built a strong relationship with the Skate Park staff. With their support, he was willing to learn new skills, despite not feeling confident enough to do so to begin with.
Due to being home schooled and all the local skate parks being closed because of the pandemic, Matthew became homebound and lost most of his confidence. After a few 1-1 sessions, Matthew and the Skate Park Youth Workers became creative in their approach to learning new Skating tricks, which meant that Matthew would be leaving sessions smiling from ear to ear.
Matthew enjoys coming to WYZ as the skate park is where he feels most confident in learning new skills as well as beginning to feel more confident around his peers. The sessions during lockdown have resulted in Matthew going from a quiet and apprehensive individual, to a very engaging young man who is now smiling on his way in to the centre and buzzing with joy over a new trick he has learned by the time he leaves.
An Interview with Matthew:
Are you enrolled in college/school, employment?
What motivated you to start using Wigan Youth Zone?
I wanted to feel more confident in trying and doing new things.
What did you gain/achieve from taking part at WYZ?
It’s made me feel more active by getting involved in the skate park session.
Were there any skills you wanted to learn or areas where you felt you needed help?
I wanted to learn new tricks and find out more about skate boarding.
How would you describe yourself?
I would now describe myself as a confident young person and I’m always willing to try new challenges. I’ve always liked skateboarding and scootering so I’ve always been kind of a sports person.
How did you feel about exercise and sports before taking part in sports activities at WYZ?
Taking part in skate park sessions was hard at first but the more I attended the easier it became.
How have you found taking part in sessions?
I felt comfortable in the area where I was learning new skills.
What have you liked?
I took part in the skate park sessions as part of my active youth programme which I completed at WYZ. Taking part in skate park sessions was hard at first but the more I attended the easier it got. I enjoy watching videos on new tricks then going learning them with the help of Youth Workers.
What have you found challenging? What helped you overcome that?
I found learning new tricks hard but I overcome that by practicing more with 1-2-1 sessions with a Youth Worker.
What part of it do you value most?
The thing I value the most is the skate park staff for showing me different ways to do tricks and teaching me new things.
What have you learnt?
I have learned loads of new tricks on my scooter and the thing I’ve learnt about myself is that I feel more confident when learning new things and asking for help if I need help with something.
How do you think you’ve changed?
I feel more active and better at learning new things. With my new skills I now go to more skate parks to practice and learn more.
How likely is that you’ll continue taking part in exercise or physical activity?
I will continue to be more active and ride my scooter more.
Can you describe your overall experience in one line?
I enjoyed the overall experience at WYZ