This “life changing experience” came about in July 2011 when Avenue Magazine was born. A youth culture title that is focused on enabling young people from the local areas to share their work and experiences, as well as learning from other people.
Fast forward to January 2012, and Ashley now boasts a four-strong team that includes fashion students Alex Witham and Hayley Shelton, Derby MC Reggiimental and Ilkeston’s self-proclaimed Annie Mac, Jonathan Martin. Without the help of the rest of the team, the journalism student believes the magazine wouldn’t be where it is today;
“Alex, Hayley, Reggii and Jono have been great since day dot and for that, I will always be grateful to them. They all work for the magazine voluntary and without their help, guidance, resources, contacts, ideas and so on, we wouldn’t be in this position we are in today and I wouldn’t be enjoying the time of my life right now.”
Ashley was known as a troublesome kid growing up but ever since leaving school he was determined to change and make something of his life;
“I was the class clown at school, I acted up when ever I got chance and this ultimately lead to me not doing so well in my GCSE’s. Getting my first job was a big wake-up call for me and ever-since then, I have strived to make something of my life. Now I run my own magazine, I mean, I would have never thought I would ever do something like this. It’s awesome.”
The whole experience has been so life changing for the ex-accountant trainee that even his close friends can’t actually believe he has his own business;
“Yeah, that’s a funny one. My mates are always saying to me “How did you manage to end up doing this, you was a nightmare at school,” but they mean it in a supportive way and it’s always nice to hear your mates say good things about you.”
The magazine is now preparing for Issue 3, which is set to be the title’s first ever printed issue. Funded by Ashley’s family, the magazine will be distributed around Erewash shops, cafes, gyms, taxi-ranks and more.
“We are bringing youth culture to Erewash!”