Women standing outside

25 September 2018

We believe every young person should be able to fulfil their potential. Whether that’s learning a new skill, training for employment or improving their self-confidence as they take on new challenges. Sa’ida Mohammed, 30, has been a resident at YMCA Walthamstow for the last three years and is employed and training as a playworker in the YMCA Afterschool Clubs in East London. She is currently training for a Level 3 qualification in childcare. “Eventually I would like to be a Teaching Assistant in a school as I love working with children; I love their smiles, they make me happy!” explains Sa’ida. “Studying while working is a great opportunity for me, and I am so grateful. YMCA has been like a family to me with support and encouragement.”

Volunteering & training

Originally from Kenya, Sa’ida came to London with her family when she was just six years old and lived with her aunt in West London. “Sadly my auntie passed away when I was 16. I had to struggle on my own as I had no other family living in this country. I went to live with a neighbour for a while after that, and she helped me.”

Eventually Sa’ida moved to East London for a fresh start where a friend had space in her house, but became homeless after the landlord took back the property. The housing team at the council helped Sa’ida with a referral to YMCA Walthamstow and she moved in two months later. “I started volunteering with the Children, Youth & Families team here, and after 10 months they offered me a job with training. I was given an opportunity to study for my Level 2 qualification in childcare.”

Sa’ida visits her mosque on a Friday and also teaches at the muslim school, so she is always busy now. But it’s not a chore as she loves her work with children. What does the future hold for Sa’ida? “I would love to remain living and working in the borough after I leave the hostel. I have a lot of friends here from the mosque.”

25 September 2018