Michael is 25 years old and grew up in a local council estate, with very few opportunities due to living in poverty he had little hope for his future, Impact provided the stepping stones needed to build his confidence and open new doors…
Michael is 25 years old and is the youngest of seven brothers and sisters. He grew up on the Canterbury estate in Bradford and says that he got on well with his mum, but not so well with his dad.
He was close to his brothers John and Lee who still lived at home, and while life wasn’t great due to lack of money and lifestyle opportunities, the family just got on with it and occupied themselves with what they had.
Michael met Nigel Delaney when he was 12 years old and went to the local youth club where he soon became a familiar face. He says that some people were a ‘bit stand offish’ but there were others who were similar to Nigel who accepted him for who he was. Michael did not attend school and left without any qualifications and life was an uphill struggle with complex family issues.
Michael attended the youth club up to the age of 15. At 16 he did some voluntary work for Impact. He then ‘went on the books’ as a paid employee, working as a decorator in the maintenance team. Michael helped to renovate the first apartment blocks which were to house vulnerable young people, eventually going on to supervise a team of workers.
He says that if he had not been involved with Impact he would have certainly got into drugs and fighting. During his time at Impact Michael has travelled extensively, including trips to Scotland , Grand Canaria, Lanzarote , Germany and America .
He says that he never dreamt he would be where he is now; being part of Impact has helped Michael to see ‘that all things are possible’. Having been with Impact from the beginning, Michael says he now has a good job, a brilliant partner (who is expecting their first child) and has recently bought his first home.
Michael’s advice to young people who feel that there aren’t any opportunities for them is “Get involved with an organisation like Impact and take the opportunities presented to you. Don’t think that anything is too big or too small, just keep moving forward”.