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The Saltburn Profile by Rosemary Nicholls Justin York

“I believe it’s really important to try to enjoy every moment of your life,” says Justin York, co-founder of Saltburn’s 4 People Not Profit group. “Even hard times offer lessons to be learnt.” Justin was born in Middlesbrough, but has lived all his

life in our town. He went to Saltburn Primary and Huntcliff schools and then to Prior Pursglove College at Guisborough. Subsequently, he took up a post as a nursing assistant at St Luke’s Hospital (now Roseberry Park). Then he went on to do his Mental Health degree at Teesside University and has been qualified now for six years. He continues to work at Roseberry Park.

“I love it,” he explains. “I like being on the ward

helping people. For the last three years, I’ve been on the low secure rehab ward. Young lads who have had drug induced psychosis are admitted and part of my job is to give them hope and try to get them back into society, into education or work. It’s really rewarding.” As well as working full time, Justin finds time to be a

volunteer at the North of England Refugee Service, based in Middlesbrough. The service has appreciated having a volunteer with a mental health background assessing clients and 4 People Not Profit have done a gig to raise awareness about refugee issues. “I’m obsessed by music,” he tells me. “I grew up with

rock and metal, but now I’m enthusiastic about a wider range, including drum n bass, old blues, indie and socially- conscious hip hop.” For a long time, Justin has been involved in social

justice and human rights campaigning. He has taken part in marches against the war in Iraq, against recent Government cuts and on issues at the European Social Forum in Paris; he is also involved in a wide variety of other campaigning activities. “I read and study too to develop my understanding of international politics and to remain aware of what’s going on in the world” he says. As a result, Justin decided that he wanted to set up

something more practical locally and with Saltburn girl, Jay Jackson, he founded 4 People Not Profit. By combining music and politics, they felt that they could reach a lot of people in our community. The aim is to support social justice and human rights causes by raising money for various charities, such as Amnesty International, campaigns against the Arms Trade and Water Aid. The group also aims to raise awareness about such issues as sweatshop labour, a Robin Hood tax and refugee concerns. In 2009, Justin and Jay Jackson masterminded

Saltburn’s Festival in the Woods with help from V Involved (a youth group connected to the YMCA). It promoted various local campaign groups and with a billing of twelve bands and DJs was a great success, despite the rain. He plans to hold another in the summer of 2012, with assistance from friends and many others, (whose help he wishes to greatly acknowledge). In the meantime 4 People, Not Profit will be continuing

to put on gigs and their new bi-monthly film nights upstairs in the Marine, showing social justice/human rights themed documentaries and films. Justin says “It’s been good to put the films on, as they reach a different audience and allow for lively discussion afterwards on the issues raised”. See page 32.

Justin’s knowledge has been built up by his travels to

South-East Asia, South America and Africa. In Ghana, he volunteered with Jay Jackson to build compost toilets for two villages and to teach English in school. Prior to their departure, a 4 People Not Profit gig was held to raise money to build compost toilets there: over £1000 was raised by Saltburn people.

“Travelling to developing countries informs my own

views and understanding and enlivens campaigning work. I see the world as one global community, in which all people are equal,” he explains. “I was in Nepal in October and saw low caste street musicians doing gigs in Katmandu to raise money to send their children to school. I want to support them by arranging for a website to be set up for them to sell their CDs.”

Justin is a keen hiker and trekker. On his recent trip to

Nepal, he trekked to Annapurna Base Camp in the Himalayas, which he found a stunning and invigorating experience. Last May, he walked the West Highland Way in Scotland and really enjoyed it, despite very stormy weather during which he was forced to almost crawl along the paths. He enjoys reading extensively, most recently ‘The

Destination of the Species: the Riddle of Human Existence’ by Michael Meacher. Reading about international politics and different scientific and religious ways of understanding the world fascinates him. Justin would like to thank all the people who’ve come

to the gigs and supported 4 People Not Profit in any way. He looks forward to welcoming everyone to the next gig on Saturday, 3rd December at the Spa Hotel, supporting campaign group UK Uncut. Newcastle reggae-hip hop band ‘The Backyard Riddim’ will be playing. See page 40. ‘Many little things done by many little people will

change the face of the world’ is a sentence Justin saw carved into an African rock. He’s certainly doing his share.

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