BAFTA winner John Boyega has returned to his South London roots and opened up about the financial struggles he endured as a child.
The Star Wars actor visited a youth center in Croydon and gave his advice on what he thinks young children need to make their dreams come true.
He said: “We didn’t have a lot of money when I was growing up, so I know how important it is to have space and exercise outside of the home.
“I was lucky to have my father’s church and a local drama company at the Peckham Theatre, so I had places to go and opportunities to dream.
“This is why places like the Legacy Youth Zone in Croydon are so important to the next generation – we just need more of them around the country so that young people have a safe space to be themselves and have the opportunity to discover their passions in life.” , as I”.
His visit to the center was part of a special evening with Amazon which has teamed up with youth charity OnSide to provide products, funds and programs to support its network of state-of-the-art youth zones that help 50,000 young people across the UK.
John helped bring new equipment to the site, including Kindles, a PlayStation 5, a 3D printer, arts and crafts supplies, Amazon Fire HD tablets, photography kits, and a range of sports equipment including kettlebells, basketballs, sets for -cards to inspire the next generation.
After the tour, the King’s Woman star spoke about the importance of accessing safe and vibrant youth spaces after the 30-year-old found his passion for acting in an after-school drama project.
It comes after an Amazon study found that 49% of young people think they don’t have enough space, while 69% cite the cost of living crisis as their biggest concern.
The study, which included a survey of 1,000 young people aged 16-25, also revealed a new “Youth Spaces Access Index” that ranked local governments with the least access to youth spaces for young people (ages 13-25). in England.
It emerged that Norfolk was the local government most affected, with the dramatic deprivation of suitable places for young people being seen in the east of England.
Each of the northeast and southeast regions has three areas named in the list.
John Bumphrey, Amazon UK Regional Manager, said: “Young people risk becoming the lost generation of this century as they navigate the cost of living crisis while still reeling from the global pandemic.
“We were inspired by OnSide’s mission to change the lives of this generation.
“Our team at Amazon has provided OnSide with products, tools and programs for their network of inspirational youth zones supporting 50,000 young people across the UK.
“This is part of our broader commitment to act as a force for good in the communities where we operate and we are proud to have worked with over 10,000 organizations across the UK in the last 12 months alone that are also focused on youth. “.
Jamie Masraff, OnSide’s new CEO, said: “Every young person deserves access to safe, inspiring places where they can discover their passions and purpose.
“Youth Zones offer many thousands of young people in communities across the country the opportunity to have fun, make friends and try new things, all with the help of trusted youth workers – a vital support that builds self-esteem and resilience by building basis for their prosperity. coming of age.
“Working with organizations like Amazon means we can help many more young people access the benefits of incredible youth work through youth zones designed to meet their needs.”
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