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Barnet Homes awarded children's activities contract
A scheme to keep young people out of trouble provides “life changing experiences”, according to a teenage DJ.
Emmanuel Bonbo, of Strawberry Vale, East Finchley, has been putting his music skills to good use at a new project run with Barnet Homes.
The organisation was handed two contracts worth £600,000 to work with community groups including Fairplay Barnet, Barnet FC, Barnet Bulldogs and Nutmeg CommUNITY and MC Academy.
Emmanuel, an aspiring DJ, has been taking part in the Voicebox project run by the MC Academy, aimed at eight to 18-year-olds.
The 16-year-old said: “If it weren’t for this scheme, I’d be so bored. I’d probably be out causing trouble on the streets because there isn’t a lot to do for kids in Barnet nowadays.
“I nearly got involved in a bad crowd but didn’t want to jeaprodise my music career and when I saw this advertised, it seemed perfect.
“Schemes like this are important to keep children occupied - it can give some of them life-changing experiences.”
The new contract will also provide a range of positive activities, including youth clubs, homework clubs, football tournaments and volunteering programmes.
The contracts are the biggest to be won by the group since it was created in February 2012.
Emmanuel, who has just completed his GCSEs at Compton School, said the scheme also helps boost confidence.
He learnt how to DJ from his father - and performed his first gig at a friend's birthday party when he was just 13.
He added: “I’ve met lots of new friends here and I’ve had the opportunity to teach the younger children.
“I love passing my skills on to the younger generation. The best thing about Voicebox is that it’s open all the time so I can go down whenever I like.”
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