As an English Teacher in Nottingham and North Yorkshire, I was passionate about supporting young people beyond just their academic lives. Then, when the pandemic hit, I turned to mentoring those young people who the lockdowns had most impacted; those who didn’t have the resources to thrive during this challenging time.

I wanted to take these skills and apply them outside of the classroom. So, I moved to Manchester and started working for a youth charity that empowers working-class teens to campaign on issues vital to their lived experiences. Through this role, I found myself setting up and running a Youth Scrutiny Panel for a housing association in Bolton.

This led me to SKylight (proud to be part of SHG) and become their Youth Engagement Officer. My role is varied and draws on my experiences as both a teacher and a youth worker; I deliver wellbeing sessions in schools across Stockport, supporting young people struggling with their mental health in 1-2-1 and group sessions. I also organise and run SKylight’s Holiday Club (with the help of invaluable volunteers) which provides a broad range of enriching activities for vulnerable teens, ensuring they have an opportunity to socialise, gain new experiences and eat well during school breaks – a time which disproportionately impacts those families struggling financially.

In this role, I continue to explore how we can best serve the families living in SHG properties through consultation and engagement with community groups. I constantly adapt our school and holiday club offers, whilst developing new provisions, such as an after-school art group as part of Stockport’s Town of Culture events. Whilst I don’t work directly with SHG customers, my role helps to build healthier communities across Stockport and develop the confidence and resilience of our future tenants.”

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In this role, I continue to explore how we can best serve the families living in SHG properties through consultation and engagement with community groups. I constantly adapt our school and holiday club offer, whilst developing new provision, such as an after-school arts group as part of Stockport’s Town of Culture events. Whilst I don’t work directly with SHG customers, my role helps to build healthier communities across Stockport and develop the confidence and resilience of our future tenants.

Dylan Abbott
Youth Engagement Officer