“Being able to feel comfortable and not judged is a feeling that I feel whenever I am with You Press”
“Being able to feel comfortable and not judged is a feeling that I feel whenever I am with You Press. It’s a block of time that I look forward to, where we all can relate to each other and doing so it, to me is a safe place where I can share my experience and learn from others. I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of this project – it has opened many doors, allowed me to connect with people who are on the same journey as me but most of all has made to realise I’m not alone.”
“I would like to start off by saying a very personal thank you to all of those working behind the scenes at You Press. Their hard work has undoubtedly allowed my fellow colleagues and I to gain a great platform to express our life stories.
My journey started by meeting Farah with my life coach, Megan Buckner, in a café. To be honest, I never knew what to expect. I was just told about what he was trying to do in helping ex-offenders gain a voice through various creative platforms. As I am a great champion in equal opportunity I asked him one question:
‘Farah, what’s this going to do for my life?’
He said hopefully it would give me a platform to express myself in a way that might help my development in life. What sold it was the fact that it was a project to help so called “ex-offenders”. That’s when I knew I would engage to the maximum.
Unfortunately I was suffering from pneumonia on my first week so it was a very slow start for me.
As the weeks progressed, We met people full of talent and promise, showing different sides to our personalities.
We were discussing A LOT of things to do with our personal lives. A lot of emotional and mental pain had us in a much-needed therapeutic recovery. In fact, it was essential to help us bond on a phenomenal level.
It allowed us to gain a better understanding of ourselves and showed us the magnitude of what could and eventually would be achieved.
People always said I was a good speaker so from week three onwards, I would go around and make an effort to get to know everybody individually. By asking about their passions as well as concerns helped me feel closer to all of them.
I decided to take the group ‘by the scruff of the neck’, that’s the exact phrase I told Farah. He smiled and said ‘I know you will, I can see it shaping already’. Indeed he was right.
As for my music performance, it was done with the help of three very talented music/spoken word artists. Over 2 sessions, I stayed with Asabi and told her a large part of my story. She captivated it phenomenally.
As somebody from a deprived London council estate, with a background in gang violence having been to prison six times in a row and was uneducated until 17, I can safely say that this has been one of the greatest experiences in my life.
Farah and Anis have supported me well and have invited me to various events. I was able to network with other influential people looking to be the next leaders in their communities and beyond.
They have provided support in helping me get employed and the issue of my homelessness application.
In short, they are helping me achieve life goals and set foundations that shall help me develop well.
My passion for writing is something they champion me to pursue and the platform they have set down has allowed me to use the network I have built to succeed.”
“I have been working with my You Press family since 2014 and it has been an incredible journey. When I met Farah and the You Press team I was living in a Hostel, this was because I was homeless at the time and my life was black and white. But when I got involved with You Press on their first project, my life became full of magic and colour.
What I will take away from my experience with You Press is love, care and my new skills to express myself more creatively. I am Yahye and I love people, animal and plants.”
“Because of them I am one of them”
“The whole experience brought me alive and rekindled my fire for creativity and the appreciation of conscious arts”
Lloyd, Participant & Artist
“I remember when I was first asked to work on the “One voice, our story” project, I was wary for two reasons. First I wasn’t sure if I would be comfortable telling a part of my life. Secondly I thought that the project, though a scheme at helping people, might not actually be fully prepared to help “so called” vulnerable people. I had a little negative voice in the back of my mind, which comes from years of false promises, telling me not to expect too much. How I was wrong
I realized that I was like a bird with clip wings and it was the process of partaking in the project “One voice, our story” that helped me restore my wings, who knew a bird could grow its wings back. The whole experience brought me alive and rekindled my fire for creativity and the appreciation of “conscious arts”. It gave me back my purpose and a strong desire to create with the intention to inspire.”
“During my six week internship at You Press, I was given the opportunity to showcase my creative marketing and writing skills through a variety of projects. You Press’ aim to tackle social issues by sharing the voices of young people inspired me to produce my own content and publish my views on both local and global problems our society faces.
While forming ideas for my written articles and comics, Farah encouraged me to see the issues I was describing for myself. After the accident at Grenfell Tower, I was able to visit the area and observe the physical and emotional harm the fire inflicted on the victims, the families, and the entire community. Speaking to victims of various issues, such as traumatic experiences, homelessness, and mental illness, motivated me to speak out. I produced articles on the topics of smoking, eating, mental health, terrorism, and LGBT rights.
I also had the chance to meet with talented artists, web designers, and graphic designers who are all members of the ScribersHive team, working to produce the best platform possible. From these meetings, I learned much about the website creation process and the skills and steps necessary to form an interactive media sharing site. I improved my advertising skills by managing the company’s social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.
Working in an office in an international environment taught me a lot about the work culture and differences between the United States and the United Kingdom, including terminology, mannerisms, and ways of life. I loved having to step out of my comfort zone and being forced to learn new habits in order to become immersed in the culture.”
“As the creative writing and editing intern at You Press, there is a tremendous amount of freedom and responsibility that comes with the position. The facets of this position included social media management, writing, editing, and mentorship. While apart of this internship the opportunity to take on a larger role, leading outside projects, and having the independence to be more innovative/creative while contributing to set projects added greatly to the experienced gained from this role.
Another aspect of the internship which involved ScribersHive included working with an outsourced freelance artist to create comics for the SH platform. Taking an earlier article from the SH platform and then working with the artist to create a story concept for the comic artwork, involved continued communication. This aspect of the internship brought on a form of next level independence and leadership, creating the internship position into more than just the standard qualifications.
Mentoring young writers and editing the articles they wished to contribute to ScribersHive further developed the leadership and communication skills required in the internship position. Adapting editing skills to suit the article written, helped the young writers to learn more about their writing style and then gain the confidence to continue contributing articles to ScribersHive.
Finally, this internship position included assisting You Press in a variance of their other projects. Having the opportunity to dip into multiple facets of You Press made the internship experience, a truly fulfilling and development part of being an international intern.”
“I also had the chance to meet with talented artists, web designers, and graphic designers”
Jennifer, International Intern
“Prior to finding out my internship through my study abroad program, I didn’t know what to expect. However, once I showed up at Paddington Arts for my interview, which lasted for 2 hours, I knew that I could expect to enjoy my seven weeks interning for the organization. Fortunately, I’ve had the best of both worlds during my time here in London.
Throughout the weeks I assisted in brainstorming strategies to bring more attraction to You Press and their new writing platform, ScribersHive. Besides strategizing, I also had the opportunity to grow as a writer by writing numerous articles for ScribersHive. I was inspired to step outside of my comfort zone and to try out different styles of writing while also advance my creativity and come up with various topics to write about.
I was drawn to Paddington Arts and You Press because of their mission to support the youth to get their voice out and to voice their opinions whether it be through the arts, such as dancing, singing, acting, or whether it’s through writing because words have an immense amount of power. These organizations have inspired me to not only use my gift as a writer to better and positively influence others, but to also get out there and get involved in more organizations like them.
I’m beyond grateful to have worked with Paddington Arts and You Press. It’s always rewarding to contribute in two organizations that are focused on making a positive change in the world.”
“At the end of my work experience week I felt that I had learnt a lot from my time at You Press. When I started I wanted to work on how to get things done efficiently whilst maintaining the quality of my work. My work experience has taught me that I need a focused environment in order to achieve this goal.
I have also learnt about copyright issues and how to keep your work legal when it comes to photos.
When my started my work experience, I also wanted to be challenged and be pushed out of my comfort zone. I find it very difficult to share personal experiences and although I have uploaded poetry to my blog, I am yet to upload articles about my own experiences in life. However after writing my article about my experience with Islamophobia, with the intentions of uploading it, I feel that I have gained much confidence.
I have also learnt how to use the website ‘mailchimp’ effectively and this has given me the inspiration to start my own monthly newsletter in connection with my blog where I talk about politics and social issues.
My work experience has also made me even more enthusiastic to pursue my dream to be a journalist. I have enjoyed my work experience immensely and felt very fulfilled whenever I finished an article.
In light of my work experience I am also more motivated to go back to Birmingham and encourage people to contribute to ScribersHive and engage with political and social issues.”
“I’m so grateful I got to experience the workplace in London, especially with Paddington Arts. Before arriving in London from Philadelphia, I was extremely nervous about multiple things, culture shock, leaving my family and friends behind, etc. But, Paddington Arts made me feel at home. I worked for You Press, the You Press office is held in the Digital News Room in Paddington Arts.
Now that my time in London and at Paddington Arts is over I feel very upset that I will probably not get to see this amazing staff again! I will definitely be keeping in touch, and when I eventually get back to London this will be one of my first visits! Thank you Paddington Arts & You Press for giving me the opportunity to express myself through video production and experience a side of London most Americans don’t get to see!”
“I met some amazingly talented and kind people, who inspired me to produce the best articles that I could as I knew that I was representing a social enterprise that has great intentions to improve people’s lives”
“Coming from America and having been able to work several jobs whilst in the states, I had different expectations for a working life whilst in London. What I had originally thought was going to be an energy depleting, hardworking job full of intense company actually proved to be a tightly knit community of hard working individuals following their passion. It isn’t every day that I meet genuine people whose company I very much enjoy, especially since I do have some difficulty in putting myself out there to new experiences and meeting new people.
But working at You Press, even though how short it may have been, connected me with, what I believe; a group of very solid, passionate, warm hearted and genuine individuals that I don’t think I will ever forget. In the few weeks that I interned at the enterprise, I became a part of a family. Something that, in that time because I’ve been away from home for so long, I’ve been longing for, for quite a while. At You Press, work isn’t just putting out articles to bring an audience to a more public spotlight. I believe that You Press aims to add more people to their family and this notion is grounded in how its director and its team of workers operate for others and I believe that Farah and his team does an exceptionally excellent job at this. A family is what I longed for whilst in London, and a family is what I received whilst being with Farah and his team. A group of the highest quality, order, supreme. (With the exception of Maria)”
“I got an unforgettable experience through seven-weeks of internship at You Press. My main job was to develop their new website; ScribersHive which is a platform for young people to share their opinions and voices on a range of topics and social issues. I did my best in order to not only write good articles but also to enrich the platform’s benefits, as well as it’s popularity. This was because I hoped to streign the connection between You Press’s vision; to bring together artists and young people to make a widespread distribution of messages to challenge various social issues through social media.
During my internship, I took the initiative to produce an interview series called ‘the voices of London’ on ScribersHive. With the series I explored London to find interesting people, activities and I then hunted their story and voices. The series of articles introduced stimulating messages from various specialists to help young people to be explore their interests. I am glad to have had a deep insight into the possibilities of social media and youngsters’ communication, as well as journalism in such a multicultural city.
You Press showed me their clear vision on how to properly shape the future of media communication, as well as young artist’s activities. I can’t express how grateful I am for this internship and opportunity.”
“My time at You Press as a content writer for their platform Scriber’s Hive was incredibly rewarding. I was encouraged to write about issues that were important to me, in a really cool environment where I was always made to feel welcome. I met some amazingly talented and kind people, who inspired me to produce the best articles that I could as I knew that I was representing a social enterprise that has great intentions to improve people’s lives. I was also able to explore different types of traditional media, including podcasting and voice-over work which was a great experience for me.
As a writer, I was able to push myself by finding new, interesting and thought-provoking topics to explore. I was also able to play around with my writing style and develop at my own pace, whilst receiving positive and constructive feedback on my work. I would definitely recommend interning at You Press to anyone that has an interest in developing their skills as a content creator. The skills I have learned will be a great help to me in my future endeavours.”
“Interning at You Press has exposed me to the social issues prevalent in London and the importance of giving silenced groups a voice”
Melissa, International Intern
“Interning at You Press has exposed me to the social issues prevalent in London and the importance of giving silenced groups a voice. As an intern who traveled all the way from Los Angeles, I felt uneasy about the cultural differences and working in a completely unfamiliar environment. After being interviewed for You Press, however, I immediately felt comfortable and my worries disappeared because of the laid-back and welcoming environment.
During my time with You Press, I improved my writing skills, managed the ScribersHive social media accounts, edited podcasts using Adobe Audition, re-designed the You Press website layout and edited existing web content and articles. I hope to stay connected with the You Press team when I return home to America!”
“Working alongside Farah and the You Press team has been an amazing experience so far. Coming in from a creative writing background, I always knew that this would be a great opportunity to reaffirm some of my skills and enthusiasm for writing. To my surprise, however, I’ve found the experience entirely transcendent; it’s completely surpassed my expectations and has in fact given me a brand new set of skills I never thought I’d be able to apply to the professional industry. It’s taught me how to edit, how to promote content through social media and, more importantly, it’s taught me how to just be myself!”
“As a content creator and filming intern, You Press has given me many opportunities to utilize my skills while learning and working with passionate and dedicated individuals in a creative, friendly environment. I was welcomed into the organization immediately and was given numerous responsibilities that reflected my interests, while being able to try new things and learn from fellow interns, freelancers, and the You Press team. The opportunity to write for ScribersHive, work with the You Press social media pages, photograph The Collective, and shoot video for Truth on the Roof, has provided me with invaluable communications experience that I will carry into my future career.
I am very thankful for the amazing experience I’ve had as a You Press intern and would recommend working with such awesome people dedicated to making a difference in the community!”
“Working at You Press inspired me to value my own voice and trust my ideas”
Manna, International Intern
“Working at You Press has given me the opportunity to explore my skills and see how I can use them to have a real positive impact. During an internship with with You Press I was given the encouragement and support I needed to have the confidence to grow in my design and web development skills I had been learning at university. After experiencing the work You Press do first hand, I was keen to be a part of this and to help them grow so that others could have the same experience as me. When I was given the opportunity to work for You Press this allowed me to do this.”
“During my time working as the Communications and Branding Lead one of my main roles had been setting up the You Press Agency to help to give young people access to creative industries. I have seen how this has helped other creatives that have joined the agency and given them opportunities they wouldn’t have had before. Not only this, through continuous development and support I have seen my own confidence grow in both my creative and leadership skills. One of the most valuable experiences I have had at You Press is to see the example of an ethical business model and empowering leadership style by Farah. This has had a huge impact on me and I am grateful that I have seen this example early on in my working life as I know it is something that I will carry with me far into the future.”
“I had the opportunity to intern at You Press for seven weeks towards the end of 2018 and I have
found it to be such a transformative experience. As a creative writing intern, I was able to
implement my ideas in various projects ranging from Scribers Hive to The Collective to the
Paddington Arts Creating Writing and Photography Competition. Working with You Press and, by
extension, Paddington Arts was so wonderful because I felt that Farah, Samir, Anna and the rest of
the team really valued my thoughts and ideas. Working at You Press inspired me to value my own
voice and trust my ideas.”
“I really enjoyed my time at working YouPress. I found the work environment to be very comfortable and my coworkers to be very friendly. I found it easy to share any ideas I had or to ask for help. This internship was actually the first job I had relating to the field I want to go into and gave me a good idea of what a job in journalism might look like. I was also given a chance to go beyond writing articles and was able to help with social media and making a podcast. All and all my time at YouPress was great and was one of my favourite parts of my semester in London.”
“Working with the guys at You Press feels like spending time with family, just doing what you love with no pressure!”
Maria, Work Placement
When I started working at You Press I did not know anybody and I had no experience writing for a website, after nearly a year I feel confident writing for every kind of platform and I have made some special friends. Working with the guys at You Press feels like spending time with family, just doing what you love with no pressure!
The days spent at the office were flowing smooth, especially when Aliyah and Samir were there, the funniest people around! I loved the time I spent at the office and I will always have happy memories of those days!
“Having have worked (Volunteered) with You Press since the start, it is an amazing opportunity to have been hired by the same business in the end. The journey that we have had has given us the opportunity to open up more opportunities for young people like myself.
Throughout I have achieved quite a few things from supervising interns and work placements, creating social media campaigns for the Paddington Arts competition, then building ScribersHive to what it is today, always completing the Personal Development Plans and SWOT analysis, going out to meet clients, networking and consulting, supporting the team with the preparation of The Collective, last and not least the fact that in the end having to be part of You Press I got the chance to be part of The Collective myself which allowed me to pursue my passion and showcase myself. This testimony is here to showcase that You Press gives a voice to the youth.”
“I started working at You Press in June 2017 as a volunteer where I helped with the launch and promotion of ScribersHive. ScribersHive was relatively quiet new and we wanted it to be a platform for young people of all backgrounds to voice their opinions, whether that be through writing, comics or animation. I was then hired as one of their first employees in February 2018 as the Graphic Illustrator where I created relevant content for ScribersHive and You Press to post on their website and social medias.
I used my graphic design skills to create posters, animations and logos for upcoming projects and competitions. I also got the opportunity to co-ordinate workshops with young people. To be able to engage with young people helped me understand how to visually document their experiences, which led me to creating a booklet for the “ROOTS” project with Greater London Authority / City Hall.
With the full support from my manager Farah and the great team at You Press, I was able to work in a creative position where I had more of a managerial role and be able to understand how to make decisions, prioritise my tasks and run workshops with young people. I enjoyed delivering the workshops so much, You Press even funded my Arts Award Certification.
Working with You Press has been a great and beneficial experience, I have expanded my skillset and able to trust myself more when given responsibilities. This has led me to become the Assistant Manager of Junior Clubs in my other job, I also continue my Freelance artwork because of my ability to balance and prioritise workloads. You Press does a lot to fulfil the needs of the local community and it is a safe and fun place for people to come together and make a difference!”
“I love working at ScribersHive because it gives me a platform to talk about issues I am passionate about”
Ashini, Work Placement
At You Press, I developed new skills such as analysing data and improved my writing. Having my articles published on ScriberHive increased my confidence and further developed my research skills.
The experience at You Press is amazing. I’ve learned so much during this time. I would love to be way more active, because this time is giving me not only experience, but I also have a lot of fun. The team is great and very supportive. Really hope that I can be more active and consistent.
I love working at ScribersHive because it gives me a platform to talk about issues I am passionate about. It’s great to be able to share my opinions with other young people. At the same time, it allows me to explore topics that I would not be interested in otherwise.
“For anyone who wants an introduction to journalism, or to see how an office environment functions, I would definitely recommend working with You Press”
Cameron, International Intern
Interning at You Press was a great experience for both my professional and personal development. At first, I was a bit nervous to work in an office in a foreign country, but the whole team was nothing but welcoming and supportive.
Writing articles for ScribersHive is a good first step into journalism, and you get as much out of the process as you put in. If you want to challenge yourself to write about topics you’re not as familiar with, the opportunity is there. There is plenty of flexibility in terms of what can be written about, which is something to take advantage of.
On top of honing my writing skills, I was given the chance to get out of my comfort zone and try new things. I attended an event at the Young Westminster Foundation to network on behalf of You Press. I also got to speak to students at London Metropolitan University to convince them to sign up and write for ScribersHive.
For anyone who wants an introduction to journalism, or to see how an office environment functions, I would definitely recommend working with You Press. I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to work with the friendly people there and learn a bit about British office culture while practicing old skills and developing new ones.
My experience at You Press was positive and formative. I learned how to structure an article and how to manage my time; how to be direct, honest and objective when it comes to writing a personal or engaging article.
The staff are lovely and the atmosphere is relaxed but at the same time is focus on the daily achievement of each person in the room. Individually the members that run You Press have a different role, and we are all aware of the role we represent in the field.
Personally, it was a challenge to write a piece that can engage the reader in maximum 500 words, but that was the fuel that gives me the sprint to do the best research in each area so to acknowledge the best and most relevant information to write an excellent article.
My goal is to write a unique piece of work that can engage everyone in a fun and informal lecture, but also to learn how to improve my skills and You Press is the right choice even if I am a freelancer that goes to the office twice a month, each time they are lovely and kind to me.