Yvonne Griffin

Being on the Black-E mobile stage with disco strobe lights. Dancing to Sam and Dave’s Soul Man and being able to be yourself. The Black-E was a place where your self-esteem was enhanced. You made good friends whether they were male or female. The whole place was very positive.
I always remember the calmness of Bill Harpe in his interaction with us. He always encouraged us and ensured a safe environment for us to learn and play. Bill and his colleagues used art to educate and provide a platform for our talents to develop.
Going to the Black-E helped with my development/adolescence. We interacted with boys on a respectful level that led to long-term friendships. For me the Blackie was all about the music and socialising with my peers.
My experiences in the Black-E have led me to continue working with young people and encouraging them to reach their potential. It is no coincidence that I was determined to acquire relevant qualifications in order to carry out my intention to work with young people and have some impact on their lives.
Gaining my Masters Degree in Crime Deviance and Social Policy, at Edge Hill University. Going into Higher Education was a positive achievement for me, particularly as I had children to bring up.
I get most satisfaction from young people that I have worked with. I have individuals who still thank me for my belief in them and helping them reach their potential. Things like this make my job worthwhile.