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Singing star backs teens’ help project
8:50am Monday 16th September 2013 in News
A SWINDON chart-topper has thrown his weight behind a mentoring charity in the town, having admitted he needed extra guidance during his own hesitant adolescence.
Josh Kumra, 22, a former Headlands pupil, shot to fame after collaborating with Wretch 32 on the number-one hit Don’t Go, which charted in August 2011.
Now, Josh is supporting Swindon Mentoring and Self Help (SMASH) after meeting two of the project’s mentees last week and offering to spread the word with an admission he needed the same kind of support as a teenager.
“From the age of 13 to 17 I was all over the place, I didn’t know whether I wanted to do this or that,” said Josh, who heard about the charity through a former school friend, who now works for SMASH.
“There wasn’t any goal to achieve because I didn’t know what I was good at. I didn’t know what I‘d be able to do as a future.
“Just having a mentor would have helped to encourage me because there were a lot of times when I’d doubt myself.
“Music is a very hard thing; you can do it for a long time and never get paid back for it. If a mentor had been there they could have shown me where I could benefit in the short term and enjoy myself.”
The former Pinehurst resident, whose debut album Good Things Come To Those Who Don’t Wait was released in April of this year, met Charlotte Bean, 16, of Walcot, and Josh Robson, 15, of Pinehurst, last Tuesday.
After being treated to an acoustic performance of Don’t Go, Charlotte said: “He was so friendly and seemed really interested in my background and SMASH’s work.He understands how important it is to help other people and put other people first. It’s amazing that he’s helping SMASH and it’s nice to know that he can help us get more people involved.”
Josh Robson said: “I didn’t know what to expect, but Josh was funny, down to earth and so easy to get on with. He’s in the same line of work as I want to do so it was great to talk to him.
“He seemed really willing to help out and help us get other people 100 per cent behind SMASH, which is great.”
SMASH, based in Hargreaves Road, aims to restore the confidence and self-belief of local young people who’ve not had the best start in life.
Since 1999 they have provided life-changing volunteer mentoring and inspirational activities to over 1,000 Swindon young people.
The charity currently has record numbers on its waiting list and is urging people to support them by volunteering or fundraising.
Anybody who is interested in taking part in helping SMASH by volunteering as a mentor, fundraising or volunteering in a role which suits them, should visit www.smashyouthproject.co.uk, email email@example.com or call 01793 729748 for more information.
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