Sitting with James and Jacqui Abrahart on a Zoom call, one of Future Youth Zone’s Founder Patrons, it hit home once again just how impactful somewhere, something or someone can be when you are a young person, and how that can go on to shape the rest of your life.

The Abraharts are a successful couple whose children are also wonderfully talented. They weren’t always affluent, and both grew up in areas of deprivation in London, much like Barking and Dagenham. They both left school at 16. James lived in North London, the family didn’t have car and his Mum worked multiple jobs. Jacqui grew up in Plaistow but spent lots of time in Dagenham with her extended family. From the age of 12, she had a job working on market stalls.

James said that he found school particularly difficult, he has dyslexia, but this wasn’t diagnosed until much later in life. However, James was fortunate to have an English teacher called Mr Ashton, who noticed James’ interest for Electronics and nurtured this, understanding James need for an alternative learning style. James accredits much of his success to Mr Ashton’s early intervention in his life. Much like the Youth Workers at Future Youth Zone, Mr Ashton believed in James and supported his passion, giving him a safe space to feel inspired and to grow.

The couple, after having moved and had their children close to the Youth Zone, felt compelled to get involved and give back to their community. The Abraharts had seen the difficult circumstances that affected people in the area, but really saw the benefits that a Youth Zone brings in supporting young people and giving them a future they deserve.

“Youth are the future so why not invest in them and help them get it right. As little as it might be to you, you can be making a big difference to a young person’s life – and this is why we support Future Youth Zone” said Jacqui.

“People invest in things all the time and it makes them feel good, but investing in making positive changes to the lives of young people, that good feeling lasts a lifetime. We received help along the way and we want to give back by giving young people a little help too.” Said James.

James and Jacqui visiting Future back when it was being built!

Thank you James and Jacqui for sharing your story and telling us about why you choose to support Future. Our supporters are amazing people who care about our cause and give back in so many ways – we wouldn’t be where we are today without them!

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can support Future to make a difference in young people’s lives, we would love to hear from you. Email Sabrina, our Development Officer, at to get in touch.

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