Priya Shah

I came to Paddington Arts as part of my year 12-work experience in July 2017. For my work experience I wanted the opportunity to do something creative, in order to bring out my inner drive and my school had recommended Paddington Arts to me. I had done a little research and saw how they offered performance arts for young kids, which wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, but I knew I wanted to do something outside my comfort zone, as it would help guide me and let me decide what career path I would potentially want to go down.

A few weeks before my work experience started I, along with a fellow classmate, had an interview with the Director of Paddington Arts, Steve Shaw, he was very welcoming and had asked us several questions, such as what our aspirations were for the future to come. He then moved on to guide us through the type of work we would be doing during our time at Paddington Arts, describing the ‘London Project’. The London Project consisted of taking a couple of images around London of our favourite places; I insistently had a list of many in mind! With these pictures I got the opportunity to test out my photography skills and they weren’t too shabby, I had also written my opinions of the places and as to why I like and chose to add them to my project. I had chosen 6 topics, such as the cinemas, Hyde Park, Kingly Court and so on. I had managed to finish the project within two days, so I did an essay about the good and bad things in London, as part of my own opinion. After finishing the essay, Steve had given me the task to write a story based on anything to do with London, so I had basically decided to write a novel called The Devil’s Game, because why not!

Throughout the work experience, I was working amongst a company called YouPress, which is a social enterprise run by volunteers and creative artists, supporting young writers and poets to develop themselves and bringing them to a wider audience. The director of YouPress, Farah, had also made me feel welcome and it was a very friendly environment to work within. He gave me an opportunity to help volunteer, as I love to write about issues on current affairs and have my voice heard. If I had not come to Paddington Arts I may not have had the opportunity to get me a step further towards my future.

Overall, my time at Paddington Arts was actually a lot more helpful than I thought it would be, as I had gotten the chance to explore one of my hidden hobbies, which is writing! I am very grateful for the opportunity given to me and would not take back a second of it!

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