A HARINGEY YOUTH PUBLICATION
free Jun 08
ALABANDICAL ON NEPENTHE
THE GURRIER’S PANOPTICON
Would you refuse cocaine?
How serving time serves you well.
A NEW ENCHIRIDION Engage your phrontistery with Belinda Webb, author of A Clockwork Apple.
Editorial Team Amanuel Tewodros and Laura Dukes
P2-3, 26-27 (Contents, Directory)
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
The Bigger Shoe Box, Muswell Hill Centre, Hillfield Park, N10 3QJ Tel: 020 8883 0260 Fax: 020 8883 2906 Mob: 07947 884 282
Exposure is free and open to anyone aged 13 to 19 living in or around Haringey. If you want to get into journalism, design or film-making, get involved:
10.00 10.00 10.00 10.00 10.00
Laura Dukes, Llewelyn Harrigan, Monique Bryant, Sam Reindes
Colsuma Begum, Josh B端y端kyilmaz, Khiry Johnson
Andre Allen, Asher Bryant, Camila Lopes, Charity Bryant
am am am am am
7.00 3.00 7.00 7.00 3.00
pm pm pm pm pm
email@example.com www.exposure.org.uk Regrettably our office is inaccessible to wheelchair users but we will nevertheless make every effort to include your contributions.
Andreas Koumi Enrico Tessarin Jon Golds David Warrington Aysha Tegally
Mirella Issaias Flo Codjoe Luke Pantelidou Gary Flavell Nick May
Awards Positive Images Award for best magazine produced by young people for young people Purple Youth Award for best youth representation website London Electricity Londoner of the Year Award Nationwide Award for Voluntary Endeavour Phillip Lawrence Award Ed & F Man Award for Best London Youth Publication
Advertising If your organisation wants to get its message across to young people call 020 8883 0260
Printers Miter Press Ltd, Miter House 150 Rosebery Avenue, N17 9SR Tel: 020 8808 9776 is a registered trademark of Exposure Organisation Limited, registered in England no. 3455480, registered charity no. 1073922. The views expressed in Exposure do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. (c) 2007. All rights reserved. ISSN 1362-8585
Exposure aims to give young people an independent voice which can contribute to the democratic process. We apologise for any offence caused by the way young people choose to express themselves. While Exposure has done its best to check material contained within this publication, we cannot accept responsibility for inaccurate information provided by outside organisations. Organisations mentioned are not necessarily connected with nor endorsed by Exposure. Permission has been sought, wherever possible, for the use of copyright material. Where contact has not been possible we hope that, as a voluntary organisation helping to educate and inform young people, it is acceptable for Exposure to use such material for the benefit of young people. If this is not the case please let us know and any such copyright material will be removed from future publications with our apologies.
Tottenham Grammar School Foundation
P2-3, 26-27 (Contents, Directory)
Issue 93 June 2008 Stereo-hype Think of a school in north London. What comes to mind? Smoking? Drinking? Bunking off in the toilets? Yeah, that’s basically it. There is a stereotypical view of North London schools, and a lot of kids are sick of it. It’s funny because the kids who are sick of it are the ones bunking and drinking in school. Do they think that people have got this idea from nowhere? Instead of complaining about it, take off your hood, pull up your trousers and change their minds. Instead of having a fight, go to school and get your GCSEs. Instead of
droppoing out, go to college and prove to the rest of England that North London kids can get good results and go to university. Make the sacrifice of walking the extra steps to the bin instead of dropping litter anywhere. Bring headphones on the bus - I don’t think the older generation likes loud drum and bass or heavy metal rock. Together we can change the stereotypical view of North London into a London we can be proud of. Lets be proud to say we are from North London! Laura Dukes
You Gotta Have Sole You and your shoes by Alisha Bartlett.
A Stranger in a Strange Land Olatunde Oloruesan on his journey from Nigeria to London, Artwork by Camila Lopes
Powdering Your Nose? Laura Dukes on cocaine, well not on it, obviously. Artwork by Llewelyn Harrigan
Daddy Cruel Amanuel Tewodros talks about his abusive stepfather.
One Bad Apple Author Belinda Webb on her new novel A Clockwork Apple.
Time for Change How jail helps change your mind.
Just the job SKILLS FOR JOBS Are you 19 or over, unemployed, living in Haringey or Waltham Forest and qualified below Level 2? Skills for Jobs is a part-time four-week programme that offers: Help creating a CV Interview skills Job search support
Access to further training IT skills Job opportunities
For more information call 020 8442 3108.
sNappies YOUNG MOTHERS PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION The stereotypical view of a teenage mother is someone that is irresponsible and careless. After going to see an exhibition of young mothers’ photography at the Triangle Children’s Centre we discovered this was not always the case. Keishi Varleigh, one of the young mothers, was far from stereotypical. She is 19 years old and has a sevenmonth old son. When she found out that she was pregnant she was scared and felt alone, but after telling her mum she felt supported and reassured. Keishi now feels she can encourage other young mothers who are going through the same thing. After going to photography classes at the Triangle Children’s Centre she felt more confident, proud of herself, and felt closer to her son. The exhibition shows that after having a child, these young women were still the same person but more grown up. The classes have helped them learn new things and given them a positive experience. Colsuma Begum and Laura Dukes
04 P1-25.indd 2
WOOD GREEN INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL The Wood Green International Short Film Festival was a showcase of some of the best young talent in north London. The best video was about encouraging people to get tested for Chlamydia. Luckily, that happened to be one of Exposure’s, and we went back to the office with an award. Other films of interest included the random Doctor Who episode where the Doctor and Rose meet a girl pretending to be Princess Margaret, a documentary about Irish travellers and their dislike of the word ‘pikey’, and of course, all of the Exposure music videos like Major Major and General H. Exposure did kind of steal the show. Actor Asher D, formerly of So Solid Crew, did a Q&A and gave a few interesting insights into both the film and music industries. Sam Reinders
eMagazine Send us your email address and get a PDF of the whole magazine through your virtual letterbox! Save the planet one tree at a time. Text your name, age and address to 07947 884 282, call 020 8883 0260, or email firstname.lastname@example.org Nick May
05 P1-25.indd 3
HORTON HEARS A WHO! This animation, based on the 1954 book by Dr Seuss, features the voice work of funny man Jim Carrey and the not-that-funny man Steve Carell. Horton is a big cute elephant protecting a whole population of Whos living on a speck of dust because ‘even if you can’t hear or see them at all, a person’s a person, no matter how small’. Besides Toy Story and Shrek, CGI movies are usually made for nothing, don’t make any sense, aren’t funny and are really boring, but Horton Hears a Who! is genuinely funny.
THE COTTAGE Brothers Andy and Reece hatch a plan to bribe a local kingpin by taking his daughter hostage in a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, but the movie falls to pieces as fast as their plan - Tracey proves to be something of a tough (and foul-mouthed) cookie and there are some strange goings-on in the woods nearby. A waste of money to see at the cinema, but okay to borrow from a friend whenever it comes out on DVD or Blu-ray, whatever that is.
MEET THE SPARTANS This is a spoof supposedly filmed on the set of 300 which parodies, among others, Spiderman 3, Ugly Betty, Shrek 3, Deal or No Deal, Ghost Rider, Transformers and, unsurprisingly, 300 itself. There isn’t too much to say about this movie except, because it;s from the makers of Scary Movie, Epic Movie, and Date Movie, I can’t believe I went to see it. At least it wasn’t High School Musical 2.
Out and about PACE YOUTHWORK SERVICE PACE is London’s leading charity for the LGBT community. They run two weekly groups for young people in Haringey who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or questioning their sexuality: Outzone, on Friday nights, is for young men who are 25 and under, and Girldiva, on Wednesday nights, for women who are 25 and under. The groups run from 6:30 to 9:30pm and include all kinds of fun activities, as well as workshops and outings. Both groups are well attended and are great places to meet other young people in a supportive environment. PACE also offers one-to-one support around issues like bullying, coming out, and self-esteem. For more information visit www.outzone.org
Book up ANGEL Cliff McNish Angel is about a young girl, Freya, who has encounters with angels, or so she thinks. Of course everyone thinks she’s crazy, and she is hospitalised until she gets over seeing angels. But when a peculiar girl comes to school and she believes in angels too, Freya begins to think maybe she wasn’t crazy. Angel is a fantasy story, but it’s also the story of a normal teenage girl struggling to be popular. It’s an interesting book to read with some strange scenarios that will make you think. Carmen Mackenzie
07 P1-25.indd 5
One Bad A Exposure speaks to Belinda Webb, author of the novel A Clockwork Apple.
YOUR BOOK IS VERY SIMILAR TO A CLOCKWORK ORANGE BY ANTHONY BURGESS - THE PLOTS ARE SIMILAR, THE MAIN CHARACTERS ARE CALLED ALEX (ALTHOUGH YOURS IS A YOUNG WOMAN), AND THEY DEAL WITH THEMES OF STATE CONTROL AND SELF EXPRESSION. It is inspired by A Clockwork Orange and it is a homage to Anthony Burgess. What he was saying was is it important to have control over your own life, or is it more important for society to control you? Do you choose, or does society choose for you? In a Clockwork Apple, Alex chooses for herself. She’s very angry at the society she’s been born into: because she’s a girl she should be behaving in a certain way. Because she’s from Moss Side she should go back to the day centre and just learn how to finger paint because, let’s face it, she’s gonna be spending her life in a dead end job in anyway.
THE DAY CENTRE IS WHERE YOUNG PEOPLE LEARN HOW TO FILL IN JOB APPLICATIONS AND MEMORISE TV CHANNEL NUMBERS. THAT’S NOT TOO DIFFERENT FROM LIFE SKILLS COURSES TODAY. Life skills today seems to be about being a robot and trying to function in the right way. Why shouldn’t life skills be about comparing philosophies or being more engaged? It’s really important that kids who grow up on these huge big estates get more involved in literature. At the moment literature is more about middle-class girls writing ‘sh*t-lit’, as I call it. All they’re writing about is getting the right bag and getting the right boyfriend and how to keep the boyfriend... it’s just crap really. It says nothing to me about where I grew up.
08 P1-25.indd 6
She likes words, “she likes being herself, she likes power ”
IN THE NOVEL YOUNG PEOPLE SEEM TO BE MORE INTERESTED IN GLOSSY MAGAZINES THAN IN LITERATURE. When I was in my early 20s I wanted something that would help me escape and switch off. Going through magazines and seeing loads of pictures about other people’s lives made me more interested in their lives than my own. When I started to pay more attention to my own life - what I wanted to do and how I wanted to express myself - those pictures of girls with big tits falling out of cabs and being sick lost all their appeal. It’s like, is this all we’ve got? We all like a bit of fun, great, but I don’t want to aspire to be any one of those people. I want to be me. I want to be as authentic as I can be.
ALEX AND HER GRRLZ USE THEIR OWN UNIQUE SLANG. HOW IMPORTANT IS THEIR LANGUAGE TO THEIR SENSE OF IDENTITY Language is very important. The language you use determines how you see the world. Where I am from in Manchester in Moss Side, there was no Latin lessons, we didn’t learn Shakespeare or anything like that. Then you go into the real world and you’re with these people who’ve had different educational experiences, and they are talking about Shakespeare and using longer words and you’re thinking ‘What the hell are they talking about?’ You feel stupid. Alex is taking the initiative. She likes words, she likes being herself, she likes power, she likes trying to have control over her own destiny and that means being engaged with language. So the words she uses are all either Latin or they’re old English or Gaelic. She’s saying ‘Why do I have to accept the language as it is? I’m gonna go one better.’
Alex played by Malcolm McDowel in Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 film adaptation of A Clockwork Orange.
THE BEST THING IS SHE’S TAUGHT HERSELF EVERYTHING SHE KNOWS. What’s she supposed to do? Is she supposed to wait around for teachers to bring knowledge to her or does she go out and get it for herself? If she waits for people to bring stuff to her she’s gonna end up doing f**k all, which serves society quite well because someone’s gotta do sh*tty jobs, but she thinks ‘Well, why should it be me? Why should I do it?’ Belinda’s novel, A Clockwork Apple, is out now in all good and not so good bookshops.
10 P1-25.indd 8
Amanuel Tewodros on finding out his abusive father wasn’t his biological dad. Everyone I knew, all my closest relatives including my mum and family friends, had lied to me. The man I thought was my dad was from Ethiopia. People in my class and at school used to ask me why I wasn’t mixed race. I thought maybe it was because I was born in Azerbaijan, where there weren’t many Ethiopians. My mum did tell me that my dad wasn’t my biological father when she was drunk, but she used to say she’d buy me a space shuttle too.
slammed my head “He against the wall so hard it left head-shaped dents
When I was six, my dad stopped hiding behind being the nice father and started abusing me physically and emotionally. I forgot how to wake up without a bruise or cut. He used electric wires, shoes which I hope were expensive - belts, and extremely brutal punches and kicks to humiliate and embarrass me. After three years my dad kicked my mum out due to her alcoholism. I still visited her even though my dad tried to stop me - I’d never stop seeing her. I used to stay over even if she was drunk. I used to clean the house, cook, do everything, and didn’t for one second think, I’m only eleven, let her get off her arse and do it. I was a mummy’s boy - as he always used to say - but I didn’t care. I was proud of it. When I started going through puberty, I was very curious, as is anyone else, and started reading filthy top shelf magazines (I had to stand on newspapers to reach them). One night when I was in the
shower my younger brother found them and showed my dad. I had never been so afraid in my life. He started brutally punching me, pulling my hair out and slamming my head against the wall so hard it left head-shaped dents. I ran away to my mum’s and slept there for a week or so, even though she was drinking. She promised to get help and attend rehab. When I returned to my dad’s, he explained that when my mum was drunk and said he wasn’t my real dad, it was the truth. Those words hurt me like nothing he ever did to me, nothing he hit me with, and nothing he ever said to me. I was heartbroken. My life had been a lie and I didn’t know how to handle it. Even though I was only 13 I ran away. I slept on the streets for a couple of days, and then decided to go to my mum’s and live there. She confessed she had been meaning to explain things, but I never blamed her. I blamed it all on him: for the pain he had caused my brother, my mum and I. My mum suggested I should be placed into temporary foster care until she got sorted out. Unfortunately she never did get sorted out and passed away, tragically, in a house fire caused by a cigarette. I think I’ve done her proud. I’ve got somewhere safe and I’m doing something with my life. I coped with all this through vigorous counseling and help from social services. Talking is the best solution. You need to strive to do your best to prove you are bigger than anything that might have happened to you or anything that has hurt you in your life whether it was lies, death, illnesses or anything else. I still do not know who my real dad is, but hopefully one day I will.
For advice on this or any other issue see the list of local services in the directory on p27.
12 P1-25.indd 10
ta Have Sole Alisha Bartlett on what your shoes say about you. Some say you can see into a person’s sole from their footwear. Are they chatting rubbish or can you really tell things about a person from the shoes they have on?
Shoes may just be a way to protect your feet. The oldest pair of shoes were found in California. They are over 9,000 years old. But shoe-gazing anthropologist Erik Trinkaus thinks shoes have been around much longer than that. He studied ancient toe bones and noticed that the thickness of the bones decreased over time due to people not walking around bare footed anymore.
If you wear white Nike 110s, people think you’re a chav
But in a world where everyone is image conscious, shoes have also become a way to show how up-to-date with fashion you are. We don’t even realise we are doing it, it’s become so natural to do things just to be accepted. So can you really judge someone from the shoes they wear? Here are a few comments: “Just because someone’s wearing a certain make of trainer you can’t tell anything about them, apart from that they like that brand.” “I only look at other people’s shoes to see if they’re better than the ones I’m wearing.” “I think it is possible to tell from their shoes whether or not they are particularly stylish or tidy. The style of the shoes may suggest a certain dress sense, like bohemian, urban, or retro.”
“I think you tell the sort of music that a person listens to from their shoes.” “You can tell what class they’re from by their shoes: if they’ve got expensive shoes you know they are from a wealthy back ground and have money.” So some people really do judge other people by the shoes they’re wearing: if you wear Converse sneakers, you’re an emo; if you wear white Nike 110s, people think you’re a chav; and if you wear pointy black boots, you’re a goth. It’s human instinct to judge someone by the way they look when you first meet them - if you see someone walking down the street looking shady, you hold your possessions closer and cross the street - but there is a bigger problem then just looking at some girl’s high heels and thinking they must be a sket. It’s a problem of stereotyping, which is what young people blame when they get given a hard time. You can’t judge anyone before you know them, so why should anyone be labelled by their footwear? Stereotyping becomes unacceptable when you put your thoughts about someone into action, like saying you won’t talk to a person because they are wearing a certain type of shoes. The truth is you can’t tell if someone has money or not, or what type of music they are into, or what type of person they are from what they look like. You have to get to know them for the person they are, and not just for the shoes they are wearing.
13 P1-25.indd 11
GALLERY Send your artwork to: The Bigger Shoe Box, Muswell Hill Centre, Hillfield Park N10 3 QJ
Tel: 020 8883 0260, Fax: 020 8883 2906, Mob: 07947 884 282, Email: email@example.com
C a m il a
14 P1-25.indd 12
Do you know a young haringey hero? Do you know a child or young person in Haringey who has done something to deserve a nomination as a Young Haringey Hero? The awards are in two categories: Junior Awards for 12 and under, and Senior Awards for 13 and over. Nominations are welome from anyone, even adults, in any of the award categories.
• Young Carer Award • Young Volunteer Award • Sport Achievement Award • Young Environmentalist Award • Supporting Peers Award • Music & Performing Arts Award • Outstanding Positive Contribution Award • Young Entrepreneur Award • Visual Arts Award • Outstanding Academic Progress Award • Oustanding Progress by a Child or Young Person New to the UK
Nominees and winners will be awarded prizes at an award ceremony on 4 July 2008. For further information and nomination forms visit www.haringey.gov.uk or www.youthspace.haringey.gov.uk or contact Janette Sylvester, Professional Development Centre, Downhills Park Road, N17 6AR, tel; 020 8489 5375 email; firstname.lastname@example.org Closing date 30 May 2008
Stranger in a Strange Land
rk by cam
16 P1-25.indd 14
When he was 10 years old, Olatunde Oloruesan was sent with his brother to London from Nigeria. Five years ago my dad sent little brother and I to London to live with our mum and finish our education. I was unhappy that I had to leave my good friends; we had been together since we were young and it was difficult for me to let them go. But my brother and I were so happy that we were coming to London, even though we had to travel alone. Our suitcase was ready and packed and we couldn’t wait to get on the plane. We were so scared because the plane was so massive. It was especially scary when the plane took off. We were also scared that the plane would get lost on our way to London, and then it did - we landed somewhere in Spain. It was a stop off but my brother and I were confused and stood around in the airport for five hours until someone took our luggage and checked it in. When we got to London we saw the difference between London and my country. All the houses in London are so beautiful!. Also it was my first time seeing a white man - I was scared to talk to them, and so was my brother. A man came and talked to us but we couldn’t understand him. I didn’t know what would happen so I kept quiet. Then we saw our mum and were so happy we ran to her. Education in London is better than my country because there the teachers beat the students, you have to pay school fees and if you don’t pay on time they send you home, and if you fail your study, you are forced to repeat the same class over and over.
At first people at school in London didn’t understand my accent. I tried not to talk with anyone thinking they would make fun of the way I talk. I listened to the way the other kids spoke and tried to change my accent. The teachers also helped me with my English; I was so grateful. Generally I felt welcomed in London but because of the stabbings of young people like me I started to feel scared. In Nigeria this doesn’t happen between young people. Of course they fight with each other and there is robbery, but not in the street - usually people come to your house with a gun and ask for money.
was my first time “Itseeing a white man – I was scared to talk to them
I have been mugged seven times, once with a gun. Once it happened on the bus and I was cut a little bit with a knife because I refused to give my phone. I was about to fight but I remembered my mum said that I can get killed by fighting back, so I gave them my phone. After the seventh mugging I started to cry because I didn’t understand why this kept happening to me. In Nigeria stuff like this never happens to anyone. I thought about carrying weapons but my mum told me not to because I can get arrested and the police will think I am one of the gang members. I miss my country - I haven’t been there for five years - but I am growing up to become a great man in life and a brighter man in the future.
17 P1-25.indd 15
Horoscope by Andre Allen, Asher Bryant and Charity Bryant
May 23 - Jun. 23
\ romantic side isn’t very strong right now, and true love seems very far Your away. It probably is! Sorry but love works in mysterious ways.
Jun. 24 - Jul. 23
You’re doing so much thinking about the things you’ve done, you’re forgetting to look to the future.
Jul. 24 - Aug. 23 Life sometimes seems hard but don’t worry, things will get better soon. In the meantime, chin up!
Aug. 24 - Sep. 22
Life isn’t about feeling sorry for yourself, it’s about making mistakes and learning from them.
18 P1-25.indd 16
Images by Camila Lopes, Janos Papp, Tony Randall, Llewellyn Harrigan and Orlando McKenzie
Sep. 23 - Oct. 23
People won’t love you if you don’t love yourself, apparently, so take more chances - it will be good for you.
Oct. 24 - Nov. 22
You don’t like people to copy you, but stop being so suspicious! They only do it because they like what they see.
Nov. 23 - Dec. 21
Come on, get a grip you can’t be jealous for the rest of your life. You’re going nuts.
Dec. 22 - Jan. 19
You’re living the life right now, but don’t be so sure it is going to stay that way. Prepare yourself.
Jan. 20 - Feb. 18
You’re desperate to make a change. Some changes are for the best, but some are for the worst.
Feb. 19 - Mar. 20
Stop wasting time telling people they’re not good enough. They’re not taking any notice.
Mar.21 - Apr. 20
Don’t spend all your life at home, get out and have some fun with your friends. Life doesn’t last forever.
Apr. 21 - May 22
Nothing is ever enough and you always want more. If you carry on, you will lose the things you value most.
19 P1-25.indd 17
POWDERING YO Laura Dukes loses here friends to cocaine. My best friends can tell me anything, but sometimes I wish they wouldn’t. ‘We are going to try cocaine. What do you think?’ What do they mean what do I think? I think it’s a terrible idea; only bad can come from it. What if you become addicted and can’t stop? What if you get into crack or heroin? You might have an allergic reaction. What if you need to go to rehab? What if you die! I would actually like you to stay around for a bit. But that’s not what I said. Instead I said, ‘Oh, wow, cool, um, when?’ I couldn’t think of anything else. Then they told me it might be fake, flour or something, but they were still going to try it. This made my fears worse. If it was fake then what was it? Maybe it wasn’t cocaine, or flour, but something else. This thought never entered their minds. I tried to tell myself there was nothing to worry about but this was hard seeing as cocaine was the only topic of conversation for weeks. I didn’t think they would go through with it. Maybe they’d just throw it away? Wishful thinking. They were having a party at one of their houses with a few people. It was going to be that week, and there was nothing I could do about it. I’m going to try and stay sober, I thought, just in case. We all went round saying ‘Tonight’s the night’ and ‘Are you nervous?’ All I thought of was ‘Don’t drink anything!
You don’t want to mix drugs and alcohol the first time you try it.’ But I didn’t say that either. I stayed quiet, feeling quite sick from the vodka I had drunk. They went into the bathroom to take it. As we sat there waiting all I wanted to do was get so off my head that I wouldn’t care, but if I did there would be no one to help if something went wrong. I wanted to burst into the bathroom, scatter the stuff and give them both a good slap. The door flew open and hit the wall. They walked into the living room where we all held our breath ‘It’s f***ing flour!’ they shouted at the same time. I let out a silent breath, making sure no one heard. It was done. No more. They were fine and well. After the disappointment of the ‘cocaine’ they wanted to add to the list of things they had tried: weed, poppers, alcohol, cigarettes, and flour. I thought they might be smoking weed before school because
20 P1-25.indd 18
YOUR NOSE? wanted to burst “Iinto the bathroom,
scatter the stuff and give them both a good slap.
they became so relaxed and zoned out. Then they started talking about pills. I didn’t know what kind. I didn’t ask because I thought they might think me stupid. I could already see it happening: the weed turned into cocaine, the cocaine turned into pills, and the pills would turn into something else. Over the next week I saw a change in them. Drugs were all they talked about. They became distant and cold with me, even though I was their best friend, not drugs! They don’t tell me anything anymore, but I wish they would.
For advice on this or any other issue see the list of local services in the directory on p27.
21 P1-25.indd 19
y n o A
by Asher, Charity and Monique Bryant and Khiry Johnson illustrations by, Charity and Monique Bryant
I have two annoying sisters that just won’t leave me alone. They are always in my business with ‘Where are you going?’ and ‘Who are you talking to?’ Then when I ask them why they do it they say ‘Daddy told us to, so you keep out of trouble.’ But I don’t really get into trouble. Your sisters, and your dad, are just trying to keep you away from things that you might think are good, but might really be bad, like McDonalds, cigarettes or sovereign rings. The obvious solution is to stick to things which seem bad but are actually good, like school, vegetables and vests.
I’m 13 years old and my friends have just started to smoke weed, and even started dealing a bit to make money. We have been friends since I was around seven years old, and I have no other friends. I fear that if I carry on hanging around with them, I might give in and start doing the same as them. If you are really worried about your friends, you have to talk to someone. You could talk to their parents or brothers or sisters, and ask them not to tell your friends it was you who told them. But maybe it would be better just to talk to your friends. You’re worried they might influence you. Why can’t you be an influence on them?
22 P1-25.indd 20
My parents won’t stop arguing, and it’s not even like they argue over anything big. Example: if my dad doesn’t want a lot of food because he had a late lunch, my mum is like ‘You need to eat, you’re a man!’, and then they’re off.` It’s really stupid but what should I do?
I was sitting down in church one day and I put my hand on my forehead and felt a spot. My cousin said you can’t really see it and told me not to tell anybody that I had it. But when I left church everybody laughed at me, even the old lady that doesn’t speak to anybody.
In a situation like this, there is one thing that never fails: a good v bad list. Sit your parents down (maybe separate rooms would be best), give them each a piece of paper and ask them to write down all the good and bad things about each other. They’ll soon realise it would be easier to be nice to each other than to keep on writing the list. Or try Childline on 0800 88 44 44 or Kidscape on 020 7730 3300.
When you get a big spot, it can feel like everyone has noticed and is talking about it. It’s really in your face. But there’s no need to zit and worry or make a big puss about it. You may feel sore, your blood may boil, but you’ll squeeze through. After all it happens to everyone. At least you’ve actually started puberty.
Everyone’s got problems, so for some serious advice, see the Directory on page 27 for a list of suppert services.
Sometimes it takes a prison sentence before you get the message. Young people are getting killed over something as petty as the postcode they live in. Drugs are being sold here, there and everywhere. The youths of today are thinking about money more than society, and don’t know the consequences of what they are doing. I had to find out the hard way. Although I was a naturally clever kid, I took it for granted. I was one of the stereotypical black students always rebelling against the teachers. I began smoking skunk, meeting up with girls instead of being in a steady relationship and just taking the piss instead of getting my priorities right. When my mum caught me smoking, she begged me to stop but I couldn’t. I began getting worse and worse at school, fighting, cursing teachers and all the rest, so my Mum had no choice but to kick me out of the house and stop all my sources of income to try and teach me a lesson.
That’s when an opportunity came round that I couldn’t refuse - a steady source of income bigger than any I imagined being able to get at such a young age - I began selling heroin. I made ridiculous amounts of money quick, more than any of my friends. I felt like I was flossing. I felt rich and proud. But then the day came that comes for all criminals: the day you get caught out.
is like a mansion full “Jail of criminals ” Not getting into the long-winded process of me being sentenced, I ended up getting an 18 month detention and training order (DTO). With DTOs you serve half of the sentence in jail and the rest on licence. One feeling you don’t want is when your mother is sitting in court and has to hear her only son get sentenced for jail time.
24 P1-25.indd 22
It really went through me. I couldn’t even look at her. I just got up, clenched my fists then walked out with the officer. Now I’m just another black statistic. From court I was transferred in what we call the ‘sweat box’, a van that transfers prisoners from court to jail. When I got into my tiny cell and sat on my hard bed, it hit me that this was me for a good nine months. Jail is like a mansion full of criminals, so you know there is going to be trouble. I’m sorry to say it but in all three of the jails I went to mostly white prisoners got bullied. They saw black prisoners as more intimidating and stronger. Certain people had to pay rent to other prisoners or pay for protection or they’d just get beaten up. But being black and from London, I got in with the big people of
the jail, the more known people, and I settled comfortably: Xbox, PlayStation in my cell, a big stereo system, the works. But it didn’t fill the hole of not being able to see my family and friends. I don’t want to get to into the gritty details of what happened in jail but I don’t recommend it slightly. It’s not for me and shouldn’t be for you. Money does make the world go around but it is also the root of all evil, so don’t get too greedy or face the consequences like I did. On release I promised my mum I’d change my life around. I’m now at college doing a course that will lead to university and I’m working. All that’s important to me now is making my mum proud.
For advice on this or any other issue see the list of local services in the directory on p27.
P2-3, 26-27 (Contents, Directory)
tormenting dream I’m awake from my ay from home. And I want to run aw und. ad is starting to po I need to go. My he
Thump. Thump. I lay down.
Thump. head. g to spin inside my My eyes are beginnin I’ve gone got my suitcase, Under my bed and eady packed. d my things are alr But I’ve just realise ppening see if this is really ha I blink five times to . l dreaming Then I realise I‘m stil but I can’t. get out off my dream to rd d, and... I’m trying so ha p breathing and, an gone dark and I sto All off a sudden it’s
by Monique Bryant
P2-3, 26-27 (Contents, Directory)
Directory Youth clubs
Muswell Hill Area Youth Project Muswell Hill Centre, Muswell Hill 020 8883 5855
Antenna For black African and African-Caribbean young people 9 Bruce Grove, Tottenham 020 8365 9537 www.antennaoutreach.co.uk
Bruce Grove Area Youth Project 10 Bruce Grove, Tottenham 020 3224 1089 Wood Green Area Youth Project White Hart Lane Community Sports Centre 020 8489 8942
Haringey Young People’s Counselling Service Advice and support for young people White Hart Lane Community Sports Centre 020 8489 8944
Broadwater Youth Club Structured sport-based programme Broadwater Community Centre, Tottenham 07870 15 7612
Host General mental health care 312 High Road, Tottenham 020 8885 8160
Triangle Twilight Bridge Club Structured youth project 93 St Ann’s Road, Tottenham 020 8802 1955
Revolving Doors Agency Tackling the link between mental health and crime Tottenham Town Hall 07986 708 461 or 07779 098 269 www.revolving-doors.co.uk
Sexual health 4YP Haringey Young people’s sexual health services including dedicated clinic, drop-in sessions and the 4YP bus www.4yp.co.uk 0800 1613 715
Victim Support Haringey Working for victims of crime 020 8888 9878 www.vslondon.org Housing
Young Mums To Be Course in Tottenham for teenage mums 1 Ashley Road, Tottenham Hale 020 8275 4230
Shelterline Shelter’s free housing advice line 0808 800 4444
Outzone Confidential information and support for lesbian, gay and bisexual young people www.outzone.org
Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Programme of personal development 020 8826 9393
Disabilities Markfield Project Inclusive services for disabled and non-disabled young people Markfield Road, Tottenham 020 8800 4134 Drugs and alcohol In-Volve For young people with drug or alcohol issues 40 Bromley Road, Tottenham 020 8493 8525 Cosmic For the families of people with drug or alcohol issues 0800 38905257 www.in-volve.org.uk Domestic Violence Hearthstone For people experiencing domestic violence 10 Commerce Road, Wood Green 020 888 5362
BTCV Millennium volunteers national volunteering programme www2.btcv.org.uk Employment and training e2e Employment scheme 122-124 High Road, Wood Green 020 8889 0022 KIS Training Helping young people into employment, education & enterprise 1 Ashley Road, Tottenham Hale 020 8275 4230 Haringey Connexions Centre Careers advice 560 High Road, Tottenham 020 8808 0333 Harington Scheme Preparing young people with learning difficulties or disabilities for work 55a Cholmeley Park, Highgate www.harington.org.uk Junction One-stop shop for young people 2nd Floor, Wood Green Library 020 8881 7050 www.thejunctionharingey.co.uk
carrying a knife is a gamble...
...but itâ€™s not a game! I used to carry a knife for protection. It was a gamble, maybe even a game. I might need it, plus I got a reputation to think of. I didnâ€™t think much about the consequences. It was like I was just playing, no one ever really got hurt. Then one day someone did.
What now? www.victimsupport.org.uk www.samm.org.uk www.knifecrimes.org P1-25.indd 24
Produced by young people at
020 8883 0260