Clare*, a struggling young mum, attended Creative Youth Initiatve and it changed her view on things and helped make her life more stable.
What were you doing before CYI?
"Nothing really, I have a two year old son so I was taking care of him. I was engaged with Red Cross Young Parents program and was in temporary housing".
Did CYI change you? How did you change as an artist?
"My self esteem, my confidence. Everything. I managed to learn basic piano in 6 months, that's really impacted on my music. Being able to play an actual instrument is a big thing when you're doing music".
What does CYI have that isn't like other services?
"It was fun, you weren't judged and you could sing about absolutely anything and they never said that you couldn't. They gave you that freedom; they didn't treat you like a child. And Mel (the Student Support Coordinator) was always there, I had a LOT of problems and Mel was always there. It's a safe environment. I've never felt like I wasn't safe when I was a CYI".
Do you think CYI made a difference in your life today?
"Yes, definitely. It's changed my personality, it's changed my view on things. I was, not violent, but very aggravated when I first came here, and through music and having to actually be somewhere made me feel like I actually belonged somewhere and I never formed good relationships in school. I was always the bullied one, so when I came here I was extremely nervous about being criticised by the other people. As soon as I came in here I just felt that I could do anything, say anything and I wouldn't be criticised".
Was there a thing that changed everything? Can you think of a definitive moment where life didn't seem the same as before?
"It was after when I first started gigging and this guy asked me if I could play piano and I was like "Yeah, yeah I can!" and even though it's just basic, it's enough to get me through and that's when I really thought "hey, hold on, I am actually good at something here..."
*name has been changed for privacy reasons