W4 Youth shares stories of how the club is already changing lives

Image above: (left to right) Organisers of W4 youth club Marchelle Chacatté, Rachel Clare, Aliche Clare, Sally Chacatté 

Youth group tells two stories of young people who have benefitted from the project

W4 Youth have decided to tell the people of Chiswick the stories of two young people who have been attending the new youth group, set up a year ago at Southfield Recreation Ground.

They hope the way the youth club has changed their lives will inspire other young people to come along and get involved.

Image: W4 Youth club football

Luke’s Story

‘Luke is 13 years old and was born with a rare blood disease which left him very vulnerable to infection. Because of this, he missed months of schooling after most children returned following Covid and was isolated at home. His condition required him to have a bone marrow transplant three years ago which was successful, and Luke is now, miraculously, a healthy teenager.

‘However, last year and not long after starting secondary school, his father was involved in a fatal accident, leaving Luke and his mum, Ana alone. Ana says that in the months after the accident, Luke struggled to sleep, could not focus on schoolwork and felt tired all the time. He spent his time at home on screens and had no outside interests.

‘Then Luke joined W4 Youth. He attends all four sessions each week and thoroughly enjoys playing football with his friends. His highlight of the week is playing for one of the W4 Youth teams in the Rocks Lane Friday Night 5’s because of the positive feelings of being part of a team. Ana says that Luke has transformed.

“He is calmer, comes home and does his homework straight away, sleeps well and gets up ready and happy to go to school. He has also started to teach football to a six year old boy with autism who did not have the confidence to join his school football club but now … loves the game and has joined his school club.”

‘Ana is rightly so proud of Luke for developing enough confidence to help another child. Having a place for Luke to go which is safe, and importantly, free of charge, has helped Ana immeasurably. Her only complaint is that now is that it’s a struggle to get  him to eat dinner because he is such a rush to get out the house and get to W4 Youth each night!’

Image: W4 youth club dance

Haroon and Nayan’s Story

Haroon and Nayan are siblings.

‘Haroon is nineteen. He would regularly hang around with a group of other teenagers in the evenings. One evening, he saw the younger children doing sports in Southfield Rec and went over to see what was going on. He hoped his younger brother, Nayan, who is thirteen who spent all his time at home gaming, might be able to join in.

‘Haroon is incredibly aware that he was close to going down ‘the wrong path’, being led by individuals who were not true friends. With the confidence and security W4 Youth has given him, he has now focussed his social life down to 3 or 4 good friends, has started a university degree in Business Computing and is starting his own clothing business.

“Nayan meanwhile has become a confident footballer having never enjoyed sport before and has a whole new group of friends at the club. Haroon and Nayan’s sister has recently joined the street dance clubs which she has picked up really easily having danced traditional dance previously. Three members of one family all enjoying the activities of W4 Youth.’

The club says it always has space for more young people.  Anyone between the ages of 11 and 19 can simply turn up for any of the sessions. More information available on our website  W4 Youth or by emailing w4youth@yahoo.co.uk

READ ALSO: W4 Youth launched with tea and cake

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