Young Person Statement
When I first started coming to Youth Club I used to be a waste of space. I used to spend all my money on drugs and food. I was a nuisance to the Youth Workers and my peers. At Youth Club one night they brought out the drugs box and I got to look at all the risks with one of the Youth Workers. This is when reality kicked in and I thought I don’t want to end up like that drugged up heroin addict sat on a park bench. I started to get to know my Youth Workers better and saw my mates still doing harder drugs and I decided to back out of it a bit. At Youth Club I started volunteering with the younger kids. I also helped with the cooking in the centre and I’m not gonna lie if i didn’t do that I would have been up the Park smoking. I was disappointed and surprised about what I had been doing. I am now more aware of myself and more responsible in and out of the Youth Club. I feel that talking to the Youth Workers has helped in my life changing type thing. I have matured more and take better life opportunities.
Youth Worker’s Statement (abridged)
Milo and his friends used to attend the Youth Centre as a large group on a regular basis. When they first started attended they had not much interest in anything apart from playing pool. The Youth workers spent a lot of time trying to find activities that they would engage as well as having to challenge behaviour a lot. The group were difficult to get to know as individuals and when challenged over behaviour they would blame each other or argue a lot with the Youth Workers.
As a staff team we made the choice to focus on how we could get to know them as individuals, developing programmes around their interests and having very adult theme curriculum activities to encourage discussion. Milo enjoyed pool and we set up several tournaments and mini challenges and soon got him involved in helping organise this. The drugs box activity was a great opportunity for Milo to understand that we were not like teachers and would not pass judgement around what he had been participating in. Once Milo saw that we were trustworthy and recognised that we had information that was relevant to him he began to take time to build a relationship. The Youth Workers used this opportunity to further develop Milo’s awareness of other opportunities the Youth Centre had to offer. Alongside the work with Milo the Youth Workers spent a lot of time building relationships with other members in the group, finding opportunities for them to get involved in. Milo’s energy for the Youth Centre and Workers also spread over the others. Milo and his group are still friends and still attend the Youth Centre. They are not always the best behaved and still need to be challenged, but when this has happened similar techniques have been used. Milo is now involving himself in a Young Enterprise Tenner Project within the Youth Centre and plays a great part in the generic sessions.