WHAT OUR YOUNG PEOPLE SAY
The best way to measure the success of the work we do is to hear what some of our past members have to say now they've grown up!
I started apple when I was 9/ 10 years old. My primary school held an arts club that I use to attend and here I was introduced to Vicky, Joy, Nella and the Barker boys. When I look back now, I am so grateful for apple as it made me realise my creative potential. Apple offered a safe place for me and my friends to go after school and school holidays. They taught us how to paint, cook, dance, drum and a whole range of other activities I never would have to thought I’d be interested in. Apple was an inclusive place we’re kids from any background, national and gender was welcome. There were a few naughty boys from school that also attended apple but when they were there they were different, they cared for their community and showed the most respect for Vicky and Joy. They saw it as a place we’re they could just be kids. Til this day I am grateful for my time at the art block. I have now become a graphic design/ illustrator and that is because Vicky and the crew saw my potential and supported me when I didn’t it. I whole heartedly say I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the art block
Karen Chanakira -24
I initially became a member of apple through my schools initiative where students were required to spend two weeks performing work experience. This was almost 10 years ago, and I genuinely look forward to entering their small buildings doors till this very day. Apple allowed me to grow in areas I was lacking; cooking, teamwork and sports being the main components, whilst also allowing me to express myself through the areas I was excelling in. This meant my confidence grew and I became more sociable and became a better team player. I could never describe in words the benefits that APPLE have given to me, it seems almost ridiculous to list the particular events as they dont portray the average day at APPLE that is filled with indescribable joy.
Currently, I am studying my postgraduate degree at De Montfort University in Architecture. a choice I might not have mad had it not been for APPLE'd desire to allow me to express myself creatively.
Mohamed - 25
The cooking opportunities at A.P.P.L.E. have not only helped me to let go of my fear of change and trying new experiences but have also made me less afraid of making a mistake. There’s no doubt that all the children and young people who have stepped foot in A.P.P.L.E. will make a mistake at some point or another, but the staff at A.P.P.L.E. are always there to assure you that mistakes can be made and it’s not the end of the world. When cooking for example, you can always make any mistakes work for you, and must never let it discourage you. As I was always assured, not all meals will come out as a Michelin starred meal, but you must take each outcome as a learning opportunity."
I wanted to say one of the best things about APPLE is about paying young people for doing work.
Around here lots of people are going astray because they don’t have money. Families are struggling to pay rent plus everything else and that can make them go astray. And I can see and understand why they are doing it, but with APPLE being there it gives them a chance to earn even a little bit by doing work at APPLE – even if it’s like cooking food for a few days, or doing a new game.
I know it really benefited me because I was in the same position and I would have got money by any means, but with APPLE it gave me that little bit of independence I needed, and responsibility.
I was lucky enough for that opportunity - many aren't. For example to go to the cinema can cost about £12 - a lot of families don't even have that to give frivolously.
And I truly believe that by APPLE being there you have kept kids out of crime, and there needs to be much more schemes and methods like this, because I think it will dramatically decrease youth crime.
On a personal note, after my mother passed away I isolated myself from a lot of
people and places including A.P.P.L.E. I had not been there for a couple of years, I think
I was scared of people feeling sorry for me. As time went on, I started to miss
everyone and decided to pay a visit, and when I did they were all so supportive,
sensitive and caring towards my situation. It was then that I was reminded that they
are like my family because at a time where I felt so alone I was reminded that I had
people to support me during a time where it was difficult to support myself. I
experienced a major change which was moving out of supported accommodation
into my own flat. I was absolutely frightened about the aspect of living independently
and spent a lot of time procrastinating. The staff at A.P.P.L.E. gave me a gentle nudge
and offered to help me tremendously by buying my carpet and painting my home.
They really helped to make my house feel like a home so that I would feel
comfortable enough to move in. It is honestly something I will never forget. The
government offered me a community care grant but the money offered was definitely
not enough to cover the costs of a carpet to be fitted and the flat to be painted. For
that I will always be grateful.
Thank you all for the amazing childhood memories. The best years of my childhood was at A.P.P.L.E taking part in the Acton Carnival, Thames Festivals, cooking, gardening and making friends. You have all done an amazing job and I couldn't be more grateful for the work you have done for the community. I wish you all the best.
Shanice - 25
I like that the people are friendly and that I get to do loads of different things. I think it’s a fun and caring place to be!
Kayla (age 10)
I have been coming to A.P.P.L.E since I was six-year olds. I always loved art and being creative so my mum would walk me over to the park in the holidays with my sister and we would love doing all the art activities. By the time I was eight my sister had stopped going and I began walking over through the park by self, this is when A.P.P.L.E started to become ‘my thing’ I did totally independently of my family. It didn’t matter what was going on at home or at school I always had somewhere I could go and just be me. I know I was not always easy to deal with as a child (or teen or adult) but it never mattered how annoying I could be, everyone is always happy to see you when you walk through the doors.
I kept going to A.P.P.L.E through out all of my child and teen years, after my father passed away, I suddenly became unsure about going to university to take a creative subject, something I had always planned to do. My father had been an artist and I found the thought of carrying on the subject very difficult after he died. I decided to take a gap year and after a little bit of traveling A.P.P.L.E offered to employ me for the rest of the year I mostly cooked while working there but also little by little got back involved in art projects. I regained a lot of the confidence I lost and ended up going to bath to study art and creative writing even though I didn’t get the grades needed to do the course, my experience in creating public art projects with A.P.P.L.E and my reference from Vicki meant they let accepted me onto the course.
The cooking is invaluable, I went to university and no one knew how to do anything in the kitchen. The difference it made being able to feed myself was huge; and not just learning how to make a recipe but learning how to look in the fridge and say 'right I have this and this what can I cook'. It has made me learn what it means to cook something and knowing how food works and what you can do with it.
At university I started doing Tuesday night dinners. I would cook for everyone and they would all put in a couple of quid because there would for everyone and then I would keep the left overs for lunch and make a bit of profit, it worked out very well.
Unhealthy food seems cheaper because you can get a burger for the same price as a bag of carrots, but when you realise that with a range of ingredients you can create enough food for a week, it is a lot cheaper and it is healthier.
If it wasn't for A.P.P.L.E I would probably just be eating pasta; it changed my perception a lot.
Jessica Mason 25
Working in a professional environment allowed me to develop my leadership and teaching skills
I enjoy APPLE because it helps me a lot in confidence and trying new things. Also, I have found hobbies that I enjoy daily thanks to them.
I like coming to APPLE because it’s FUN!
I like APPLE because they provide you with stuff you need like if you haven’t finished your art work they’ll let you borrow pens or paint. They really care about you.
Joe (age 11)
APPLE gives people a chance to express their art and find their inner self.
Joseph (age 11)
The kids are easy to work with. They get involved in all sports and art work and are never not taking part in any activity.
Cacherel - Youth Worker (age 14)
I like APPLE because they help you to achieve what you like doing. Also it’s just fun!
I think when people come to APPLE it brings people together and it brings joy to me when I’ve had a bad day. I come here so I can make people feel good about themselves just like it made me.
Ayden Mitchell (young person)
I felt that the activities were varied and included the children aged 6-18. The different projects have created a community for children of different ages to come together. I feel like the building is the heart of APPLE as the art projects that the kids have done are proudly hanging on the walls. This is a signature touch which allows people to see what we have accomplished over the years.
Ugbad (age 19)
I helped Jake cook the BBQ, it was good and I learnt how to cook chicken properly
Go to our about us page to find out more about A.P.P.L.E.