Max Collins, 15
Since August 2016, Max has been using the free Outreach buses to visit Wigan Youth Zone. When first attending, he was very quiet with low self-confidence but his participation in a residential trip at the start of 2017 sparked something. When returning to Wigan Youth Zone the following week, Max tried new activities and has never looked back.
“With being exposed to a great opportunity in 2016 through Outreach, Wigan Youth Zone unlocked so many indescribable chapters in my life, ranging from helping my friends in the radio, jamming out in the music room and improving my drawing skills in art.”
Over the next three years Max expanded his participation, visiting Wigan Youth Zone twice per week as well as making the most of our collaborative project with Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles at Howe Bridge and even heading over to Shakerley to join our satellite group there. With his growing confidence, Max was able to talk about his problems and his low aspirations became evident.
“In the darkest years of my life being socially inept due to being mentally abused through bullying, my anxiety grew worse, however at WYZ I was able to express myself as much as I wanted I was able to talk to Mike McCurdy about all my issues and he provided some great advice and improved my mental health more than he realised. Then I met Hayley Rutter who also helped me a lot, I felt a huge as though a huge weight has lifted of my shoulders.”
With regular encouragement, Max changed his approach to school and his results slowly changed for the better. With every test or exam came a report to the Outreach team of how he was doing and he has continued to improve, moving up through the sets at school and looking forward to future GCSE success. Regularly playing word games with staff, his English skills dramatically improved and his confidence bloomed along with his social skills.
“Then I met some of the most amazing people in my life; including my girlfriend. And thanks to the youth zone I managed to overcome every obstacle thrown at me, my grades and work ethic has improved noticeably. In conclusion I have no regrets of coming to the Youth Zone”.
Max now takes every opportunity to get involved in whatever is going on from residential to winning several darts competitions in the Youth Zone.