Ten-year-old Thomas found it hard to mix when he first joined Airplay at RAF Boulmer. Here Thomas and an Airplay youth worker explain how Airplay has helped him to come out of his shell.
Thomas: My name is Thomas I am 10 years old. I am from a RAF family. I was nervous of joining youth club, as I am quite shy and sometimes find it hard to mix well with others.
But I still came along, I always enjoyed sitting talking to staff and watching the others joining in activities, I didn't like doing outdoor sports, I always found some of the other children too rough for me.
Airplay then had an ideas board which was where everyone could voice what activities they enjoyed doing, I liked this idea and it was good to talk to staff about what each person liked doing.
Then youth club started to have discussions about activities and how we had to use all people's ideas. Cooking and creative came up lots and I started joining in with cooking as I enjoyed this and felt more involved.
Airplay youth worker: After a few months of using the ideas board and encouraging Thomas to interact through activities that he wouldn’t normally do he started to become more open and engaged with other members of youth club.
In the summer holidays Thomas engaged in some very active outdoor games getting very messy and joining in football games.
We then had an outdoor company called Party Animals attend youth club, bringing in a lot of different types of animals, Thomas was nervous of touching anything within the session but right at the end with encouragement from peers and staff, he held and the biggest snake and put it around his neck.
Thomas went home that night over the moon with himself, even his mum got in touch to see if I had a photograph of this as she was pleased too.
In October, Thomas came on a trip to Life Science Museum with youth club and he thoroughly enjoyed himself and experimented with a wide variety of things. Well done!