|“At youth club I used to be a proper little trouble maker. I was rude to Youth Workers and I’d answer back with comments I knew were out of order like “alright my darling”and “calm it down my lover”, even when I knew I shouldn’t say that. I was just showing off in front of my friends. After a while I started getting involved in the Voice and Influence Group. We would get together as a group and come up with different ideas how we could get involved in the community and how we could make our youth club better. I helped to organise a Christmas cream tea event for the elderly and played bingo with them. We wanted to show them that not all young people are thugs and that we are alright. I was given a Devon Award for giving youthy my time. I did a bit of volunteering on the junior nights and helped raise money for us by doing a cake sale.
The youth centre has helped me quite a bit because I know I have someone to talk to when I feel I can’t talk to no-one else and it gives me somewhere safe to go where It can keep me out of trouble. When the Youth Workers gave me extra responsibility it made me feel they could trust me and this made me feel grown up.
Now I have been asked to be responsible for the youth centre garden and I come in once a month to cut back hedges, cut grass, just like you do with a contractor. I know they have asked me to do this because they trust me and that I have grown up. Now, it really annoyed me when I see people act immature now. Youth Workers work with a lot of different young people so I feel pleased they trust me to do this job as people trusting you gets you far in life!”
|Youth Worker’s Statement|
|Trevor has always been a regular visitor to our senior sessions and this still remains the case even though he is balancing college, work placements, working a part time job etc.
When we first met Trevor he really struggled to understand professional boundaries, often commenting inappropriately or swearing continuously throughout a session. Trevor would also be very loud and hyperactive during sessions and this would manifest in him trying to upset activities that were going on and undermine the staff. When challenged he would blame his behaviour on “banter” or “this is just the way I am”. The Youth Workers understood that Trevor struggled see the difference between relationships with his peers and Youth Workers.
Through using our debrief of the sessions the Youth Workers felt that Trevor had a lot to offer and made a planned effort to target his interests. Trevor was very proud of the work including physical labour such as farming and agriculture. Trevor responded well to this and each week he would come into youth club wearing his work uniform and loved to talk to each Youth Worker individually throughout the evening about his job and what he was doing at college. During these conversations I and the other Youth Workers would reflect how he would communicate with others appropriately in the workplace including work colleagues, bosses and college tutors. Trevor was then able to transfer this to how he could talk appropriately with Youth Workers and peers and with support and a positive praise Trevor started to thrive. As we saw him develop We chose to give Trevor extra responsibility and take him slightly out of his comfort zone. Trevor was volunteered to help organise a Christmas Tea event for older people and worked along side one Youth Worker to develop ideas and help organise. Although Trevor would state outwardly he wasn’t interested he dressed up as an elf on the day and even invited his Nan and Grandad along to attend the event! He also was able to confidently chat with the other older participants, play bingo and not swear throughout.
Trevor’s relationship with the Youth Worker has been very significant and we would like to continue that personal development. As Trevor will be soon too old to attend the session and has little interest in volunteering in his sessions, we have created a volunteer role maintaining the garden and grounds. Trevor has to work to a strict Risk Assessment that he has helped develop.
By having consistent contact with his youth workers he has really benefited from all the opportunities the youth service has to offer. This has helped him to understand the professional relationship between youth workers and young people and has built healthy relationships with us all. It is clear to see that the youth centre is still very important to him. The key different is now Youth Workers can have an in depth conversation with him without rude or inappropriate comments being made towards staff.
Last session he told youth workers he enjoys giving something back to the youth centre with what we do for them. This simply evidence how far he has come with the support of youth work along side developing and maturing into the outside working world.