Tommy’s Story



My name is Tommy I live in the local area, but erm I got in a bit of trouble with the police because I got caught tagging one of the local businesses, I got caught tagging the gate of the Robert Sorby, the place with the wall!?


Erm, I’m not sure what they actually do there, to be honest. Me and my mates were messing around and I was dared to go Tag it and I got collared by one of the workers so not really the best thing  I don’t realize like the workers leaving the local here so he was walking past and I thought well no one’s going to be working there at this time so I got caught tagging it.


Now in serving a community resolution as it’s not the first time I’ve been in trouble, so I’ve got so many hours I need to serve in the community, so through that, i was placed with an architect who was working on a project within the community at the time. The Architect spoke about making a space for me and my friends “young people” to chill and express themselves, chill and graffiti as he felt a lot of this took place within the area. I was like that sound pretty cool and I’m happy to give that a try and the architect, I still don’t understand what he does fully, he spoke of trying to make a better relationship between myself “other young people” and the local businesses as he said he noticed graffiti throughout the entire area which may have being done on occasion by myself or others that I know. He mentioned about making a space for us where we can chill, he offered me an opportunity to be part of the project after my community resolution hours were completed.


In the beginning, I was going around the business with the architect and apologising whilst helping him with his proposal for the area, I grew to find it quite interesting and the businesses were really good once I’d apologised and giving me a second chance. The Architect spoke of how the business and young people could gain skills and experience whilst giving the young people and graffiti artist, taggers a place and sense of belonging.


He spoke about how this project, the proposal could help and spoke about my point of view that we had nowhere to chill, no place of belonging which was like having nothing to identify with. this meant we struggled to express ourselves with disturbing the community neighbours and businesses alike.


The architect acted in our “young people” best interest I felt speaking about my feeling of being bored in the area and unable to afford to go to the climbing work or other groups not feeling like I belong there.


I really enjoyed speaking to the businesses and some seemed to listen and consider the project and other weren’t interested but  I quite enjoyed it and the architect spoke of ways we could get skills out of this with him telling me that we may get the chance to gain skills from this and build the spaces “Pavilions” he spoke of.


I think I’m quite practical, to be honest, I don’t really like school and struggle so learning how to put these pavilions up would be really good as it would help me get a job in the future as I’m not confident about my GCSE’s. I really wouldn’t mind working in a bodywork or mechanics garage and the architect spoke of ways we could work with the places in the bryta works possibly to build the frames.


He purposed that the body shop would have the tools to help with for example welding of these frames together. He continually spoke about these “structural frames”. He also spoke about working with Robert Sorby to manufacture the boards for the frames which we could use to practice; I felt this was pretty cool having a place to practice graffiti and improve my tagging as it’s not like you can really go and practice anywhere.


The Architect as had an idea which I felt was a bit over the top about lighting these frames up at night, but I think this is a good idea especially for winter. I will admit when you are out and chill with your friends in a group it can seem intimidating to  other whom are travelling through the area.


So we are currently in the process of building it, what’s happened is we’ve got tires from the bryta works and were going to build a retaining wall and the architect is going to get people in to show us how to do this. All he asked is that we show willing, this is to give use a sense of ownership of the space via building it but we won’t own it as it a community space but he wants us to input into it hugely and also he’d like to contact the local youth club and schools to get more young people involved.


It’s mainly to give us a space for expression and to give use a space and a place of expression as a lot of us do tagging and having a space to practice but also chill would be great. He spoke about also having events in theses spaces were artist come and run sessions with other young people alike with an interest in graffiti art. They could show us technique and the involvement could as involve partnering with the council or applying for lottery grants to get funding.


The design likes like a square to me but I’d describes it as a cube, it’s not covered and its more like sticks so a frame but it can be covered the architect said if we work with the curtain company we could make a cover with the which will change the space. He also spoke about working with the dance and theatre group, which I don’t really have an interest in. I can’t act or dance but the architect spoke about working with them to make boards like stage design then they can perform in the space so I’m able to be involved without being directly involved in the acting/dance plus I still get to make friends. It also feels positive.


So the frame is like metal sticks, so like a cube and there are holes in the frame and you can attach boards. He climbin worx’s might also attach moulds to boards for us to do bouldering.


Overall were all looking forward to it and since being involved in the Norton connect its give me a reason to stay out of trouble as I’ve realised I have a lot of opportunities ahead of me.


My YOT worker as told me how proud they are of my progress and I’m more motivated to try at school now.


















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