A teenager from SMASH and his mentor got the rare opportunity of seeing a new computer game being made last week when they visited top computer game makers Neon Play.
On Friday 31 May Ollie Webb, 15, and his volunteer mentor Craig Waldron were given an exclusive tour of the state of the art studios in Cirencester by company founder and CEO Oli Christie.
They were introduced to top games developers and had a behind the scenes look at the hi-tech world of iPhone, iPad and Android computer game development.
The pair were joined by North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson who organised the visit after he met Ollie at a SMASH open day.
Whist touring the studio they were shown how a computer game is created, and watched as detailed 3D models were brought to life. The Neon Play developers also gave Ollie top tips and advice on breaking into the industry.
Ollie said “Everyone was really friendly and showed me everything; it’s the kind of place I’d like to work. I’ve learnt that if you work hard for something and keep practising you’ll achieve it.
“It was a great experience and it opened my eyes to what I can do. I just wanted to go and have a look around but now I definitely want to and go for it, it’s really motivated me.”
Along with providing mentoring to young people who have not had the best start in life, Swindon Mentoring And Self Help – SMASH – organises activities and visits to motivate, challenge and inspire young people.
Justin said: “SMASH does an incredible job making a real difference to so many young people’s lives. People like myself can help by opening doors to areas that may spark the interest of young people. It is so important that we provide a tangible end goal so that young people have something to work towards and aim for.”
The charity is always looking for companies in the Swindon area who could allow a small group of young people to visit them to discover possibilities for their futures. Anyone who is interested is asked to contact SMASH on 01793 729748 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo by James Douglas 07843 499172, from left, Ollie Webb, front, with back left to right, Oli Christie of Neon, North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson and SMASH mentor Craig Waldron
Have you got what it takes to mentor a young person from Swindon?
Local youth support charity SMASH (Swindon Mentoring & Self Help) is recruiting a new group of adult voluntary mentors to join a preparation course later in the year.
There are currently over 20 young people in the Swindon area aged 13 to 19 on SMASH’s waiting list, young people who want to change their lives – and asking for a mentor is the first step.
Through no fault of their own the prospective mentees are not getting the support and encouragement they need to get the best out of their education and life in general. Many of them have lost one parent or have a parent who is unable to offer them all they need.
Smash project manager Rob Chappell says the mission is to uncover talent in young people who have made the decision to change their lives. “When they arrive they tell me what they can’t do. We help them discover what they can do.
“Our mentors are extraordinary, ordinary people who want to make a difference. Hundreds have come forward over the years to support young people. This will be our twenty-seventh team of mentors to go into training; between them we’ve provided mentors to over a thousand young people.
“The benefit to both young people, mentors and Swindon as a community is huge.”
The closing date to register for the mentoring course is 30 June. Contact Joshua Chesterman on 01793 729748 or mail: email@example.com