Sonia Cakebread is a Senior Project Worker at Zinc and has been involved with the organisation since she was 14 years old. She began as a participant in Zinc's Waltham Abbey Youth Theatre after a teacher at her school suggested that she took part in a positive activity.
"Zinc came into my life at a time when I was becoming less and less interested in school. It really engaged me and started to give me something I really cared about."
Sonia then went on to participate in Zinc's intensive 10 day residential projects and also became part of their integrated theatre project ‘Action Action' which toured around Essex.
"From the age of 14 Zinc has been there for me, giving me space to find my own way and make a success of my choices, whilst also supporting me when those choices became mistakes."
After she left school, Zinc supported Sonia to get into college and once she finished, she did an apprenticeship with the organisation for a year. This gave her the skills and confidence to start freelancing as a project leader.. and she worked with some exciting companies developing new skills and increasing the breadth of her experience. The confidence and skills she developed during this time led her to apply for and win a place at Newcastle University where she studied Drama.
"Zinc has had a massive impact on my life, I can't imagine where I would be without their presence. I would never have had the confidence to even think about going to university , that's for sure."
After graduating from Newcastle university with an honours degree Sonia started working full time for Zinc. Originally her role focused on Drama but she has actively sought to learn new skills so that now she is a facilitator in animation, spray arts and lyric writing. Sonia is always willing to turn her hand to anything! Sonia's biggest love is the pastoral work that she does with young people and she hopes to develop this side of her work over the coming years.
"Over the last 20 years Zinc has supported me in becoming a strong successful woman, and I am delighted to be in a position to ensure that the organisation carries on this support and development with other young people. Zinc has the flexibility to play a part in people's lives in many different ways, from employment opportunities to confidence building and I am living proof of that!."
Sonia grew up in Waltham Abbey, Essex and now lives in Brixton.