When a young person is 17 and living at home it can be a challenging time.

It's an age when they are seeking independence, and trying to find their feet in the world.

Anyone over a certain age can now back at that time in their life and understand some of the struggles when moving towards adulthood. And one of those stumbling blocks can often be your own family itself. 

Matt lives in Hartcliffe, with his nan and grandad in one of the high rise blocks, and shares that feeling. At times he can clash with grandparents, and is usually at his happiest when out the home, cycling around the area on his bike.

So when he was told he had to stay in when lockdown came, these family tensions had the potential to increase.  He said: "Having to hang out with my nan and grandad all the time, all day long was hard. Putting up with them. I would rather be out all the time really."

His Youth Moves mentor is Paul, who is acutely aware of the family dynamic. He explained: "Matt is wanting to be a young adult, and his nan and grandad are good people, I talk to them, but they are quite old school and still believe at times he should be seen and not heard.

And although he does a bit of work at Dominoes Pizza part time, and he’s being told he can go to work, he's also now told he needs to be at home at certain times for lockdown, which he found hard. So occasionally they can rub up each other a bit.”

This tension was exasperated by an eery feeling around the Hartcliffe estate for Matt, the streets empty, and the thought of living in uncertain times. A fear of the unknown. "It was too quiet, almost like it was a purge or something. Like one of those zombie films. It was weird. I was a bit worried because you don't know whats happening," he said.

Living with older relatives who would be more at risk, he knew he needed to stay put, but it didn't make it any easier. "Well yeah I was a bit worried for them, but it didn't stop me from wanting to go out. I was getting annoyed staying put."

Aside from his work, having no garden and not being allowed out, Matt would spend the majority of his time in the house on his x-box, in his room playing a variety of games. He explained: "I played absolutely loads of x-box. Games like Red dead, Fortnite, Minecraft, Roadblocks, loads.

Usually I prefer to go out in the day, and at night I would usually play a couple of games, and then go to bed. But i have been playing a lot more," he added.

Unlike some young people Matt didn't get involved with the online zoom sessions that Youth Moves were providing, so has only been able to see Paul since we have come out of full lockdown. "I didn't really get on with zoom to be honest. Not my thing, I prefer face to face contact so didn't bother wth all that. So I didn't have much contact with Youth Moves," he explained.

Now Paul and Matt are meeting again, as social distancing rules change, meeting up outside for the last three weeks. They have been for a few walks around Hartcliffe, and up onto the Dundry slopes. To a degree normal service has resumed and he's very happy about. He said: "Its been peaceful and quiet. Good to get away from the flat. When I am with Paul if am proper pissed off about something ,a day got out with Paul is a relaxed day for me. Some peace and quiet at last, and I can have a chat about stuff." he added.

Whist Matt did miss going out, and at times he would continue to clash with his Nan about it, Paul could see a change in him and feels he needs to give himself a bit more credit for how he has dealt with being stuck at home. Paul feels this is something he may not have dealt with so well in the past. "I have seen a real change. When his Nan told me to have a word about the time he comes back home, a couple of years he would have shouted and sweared and got agitated," he said. "So his resilience has got better, he is definitely more compassionate towards his her. He may not see it himself, but he is more caring and he’s doing other things for other people. I honestly think he’s done really well during lockdown, and learnt to bite his tongue."

The next step for Matt is returning to education in September, where he studies Animal Care at City of Bristol College. Going back to studying, having been off for so long, will be tough for some young people, but Paul is impressed with Matt's attitude. He stated: "He wants to go straight back to College, and is keen to do so. Some might feel whats the point about it, but not him. He's looking forward to it, and trying to do all the right things, so who knows what his future holds," he added.

There was one big silver lining in lockdown for Matt, something he appreciated and lit a flame of hope in his relationship with his Nan, and that was cakes. He explained: "My nan was doing a lot of baking, so I was getting loads of cakes everyday. I was well happy about that! Things like flapjacks, shortbread, cupcakes.

She aint stopping doing that now I hope!" he said laughing very loudly.

The key to a 17 year old lads heart is clearly through his stomach.