Depaul youngster opens up to rap star | Depaulcharity

Depaul helps people who are homeless, vulnerable and disadvantaged.

Depaul youngster opens up to rap star

March 24th, 2017

BBC1’s coverage of Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day tonight (Friday, 24 March) will feature rapper and documentary-maker Professor Green talking to a resident at a Depaul UK house.

The star – also known as Stephen Manderson – interviews 17-year-old David, who is living at a Depaul young homelessness project in south London.

On a recent visit to the home, Stephen asked David about his background and how long he had been with Depaul.

David said: “I have been in the hostel for seven months. Before that, I was kicked out [of my home] by my mum. I wasn’t really involved and was getting pushed out of the family.”

David told the star that his dad had not been around, and Stephen said: “I had the same situation and it was hard for me because he was the one I bonded with. He would disappear for a year-and-a-half at a time and then come back and bring me a present.”

David told Stephen: “Yes, that’s what happened [with me]. He would cut [leave] for years and then come back and go [again].

“You know when you don’t understand your emotions so you boil it up to cope with some things. Now I know what it is, it is easier for me to cope with it.

“Depaul has played a huge part, even in things like boxing, to help me cope with emotions like anger. It is a place to build you up and make you a better human. They have really, really turned my life around.”

Stephen asked him, what would have happened without this help from Depaul.

David said: “I would probably still not care about my life. I’d have kept on going down, because I was spiralling.  But now I feel I have a chance. I am up on the way up now.”

Comic Relief supports Depaul UK’s Get Up And Go programme, which recruits, trains and supports volunteers to run activities, as well as providing mentoring to these young people. Skills gained through the activity programme equip participants for independent living and the workplace, while mentoring underpins their personal development, giving them confidence and the ability to step out of homelessness.

After his three-hour Depaul visit, Professor Green said he was inspired by what he had seen. He summed it up by saying: “It’s changing lives that matters. Young people are the foundation of our country.”

Depaul UK provides accommodation and a range of other services to young people without homes, helping them live independently.

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