The Ayr Ark
The Ayr based project is providing an alcohol-free Youth nightclub, engaging with young people on the streets and through weekend events, and working in partnership with local schools.
Adam is just one person the project has made a difference for. Read his story below.
How did your project work with this person?
Adam started coming to The Ark on Friday evenings when he moved from primary school into the first year of secondary school in 2013. Over the course of the last sixteen months, he and his friends have been regular attenders, both on Friday evenings and during the week at the Wednesday and Thursday lunch cafés. However, he has become well-known to The Ark's staff and volunteers on Friday evenings, as his behaviour on a number of occasions has been over-exuberant. Consequently, whenever he has over-stepped the mark of what is judged to be reasonable and acceptable, he has been asked to leave, and 'shown the door'.
What difference did it make?
Despite his reputation with staff and volunteers as a bit of a trouble-maker, a few months ago Adam asked if he could perform as a DJ on a Friday evening.
Initially, our concern was that his general attitude and behaviour did not demonstrate a standard of respect and responsibility necessary for such a key role. Nevertheless, Adam was persistent, and eventually it was agreed that he should be given a chance to perform for one Friday evening on a trial basis. However, this permission was granted on the understanding that his behaviour on Friday evenings leading up to the night itself was never unacceptable.
Gill, The Ark's events' organiser, designed and posted on The Ark's Facebook page a poster advertising the evening in which Adam (under the pseudonym of "DJ Mez") was to be the DJ. Adam, himself, admitted on his own Facebook page that he was both excited and quite nervous about being the 'performing artist' for the evening.
At the start of the evening, a number of technical problems arose in connecting Adam's laptop and DJ desk to The Ark's sound system. As a result, and understandably, Adam's nervousness increased, even though the problems were not his fault. However, once these problems were overcome, Adam proceeded to do an excellent job for two hours, engaging effectively with the young people - his peers - who had come to The Ark for the evening, and successfully getting some of them to dance to the music he had chosen to play.
How did you know you made this impact?
Immediately, after the event, Adam adopted the DJ Mez poster as profile picture and cover photo for his Facebook page, where he posted that "he'd had an amazing night, he'd loved it, and it couldn't have gone better". Since performing as DJ in The Ark, Adam has not been asked to leave, and 'shown the door' again (yet!), suggesting that, as a result of the opportunity we were able to give him, he may have become a more mature and responsible young person.