I started on a Peabody-funded programme called Young Producers after my mum received an e-flyer and forwarded it to me. It was set up to bring new talent aged 16 to 25 into the arts.
I was interested and attended the first meeting but unfortunately shortly afterwards we went into a national lockdown. But that didn’t stop us, we carried on the programme online and produced TEMO TV - a YouTube programme that showcased local Thamesmead talent.
That programme created a domino effect in terms of my involvement within the community.
After that I joined an ongoing online workshop called Masterclass, the Youth Eco-Development Council (YEDC) and a creative research group, all within in Thamesmead.
Some were paid positions and some reaped other rewards. For example, gaining an advanced project management accreditation alongside my first programme and having the opportunity to meet our local MP, Abena Oppong-Asare, to discuss how Covid-19 has affected young people.
I was also given the chance to contribute so much more to Thamesmead's development, for instance by talking with artists to help brainstorm ideas for murals around the area and joining panels discussing the town’s future.
These opportunities have helped me develop a strong connection to my area. I see Thamesmead as the countryside within the city, we have a peaceful, nature-filled atmosphere as well as the diversity and vibrance a city gives.
Thamesmead is home to billions of different stories, told and untold. I see it flourishing in the years to come as it has so much potential and has done so much for me. I can't wait for Thamesmead's next steps.
If you’re a young person interested in getting involved in local programmes like Michelle, please contact Nadia Kassab, Peabody’s Youth Development Co-ordinator in Thamesmead, at [email protected]