This post is part of a short series written by former young people I have had the privilege of working with. Having been involved in youth work for well over 10 years, many of my old youth groups have gone on to do amazing and exciting things. Some, to my immense pride, have also gone on to work with young people themselves. I have asked a few of these individuals to write about their experiences of working with young people in their particular context.
This post is written by my current trainee and “Gapper” Ben Young who is on a placement with Arun Community Church supported by The Rank Foundation and studying for a Level 3 Diploma in Informal Education at YMCA George Williams College. Ben’s doing a great job and I’ve asked him to write about his work:
So the journey begins…
This first month has been a roller coaster ride for me, moving up from being a youth in the Church to being a youth leader has been such a good transition and I feel that I have contended well with the difficulties within the change. Iâ€™m so excited to see what this year has in store for me while working with these brilliant young people. In my placement, I am helping at a number of different clubs and activities each week. Here are just a few of them:
Launch pad is a breakfast club run from 7.30am for one hour everyday no matter the weather. Itâ€™s for children whose parents canâ€™t supply their breakfast or go to work early mornings and donâ€™t have time to prepare breakfast. We give them a healthy breakfast and walk them to school so they are ready for the day.
Replay is a club run every Tuesday with different activities each week such as â€˜cook and eatâ€™ or free â€˜soft playâ€™, we supply toast too so the youth can have a healthy snack.
Spurgeons LA-UK CREW
The Crew takes young people from deprived areas and takes them out of their home environment for trips out on walks, activities or even just hot chocolate. It gives the young people the chance to relax and have some fun and have someone to talk to, just having the good adult influence around them and someone to have a chat can show them that they arenâ€™t alone and can help with their self esteem and confidence as well as meeting with other youth in similar conditions and making friends, itâ€™s absolutely brilliant.
Other clubs I help at include Kickstart, an after school club with a Christian theme, TNT which is a Thursday night youth club for ages 11-14, and Ignite which teaches youth from ACC about the bible in a friendly environment. I help run these clubs by doing registers, log sheets and preparing activities. I have also been involved in a number of meetings, getting to know other people in the area and understanding more about youth work. So far it is great!