30 Jun The Importance of Youth Work
This is a guest blog from Ian, who wanted to share his thoughts and experiences about what makes Youth Work so special. As our whole service is based on a Youth Work model, it really resonates with us and hopefully it will with you too.
Youth Work. Not everyone understands what this means. Some believe it is a dying work ethic. Some believe it’s where adults go and kick a ball around. Some of you may believe that this isn’t real work at all. I am here to challenge those who do not understand the power of Youth Work.
Hi! My name is Ian. A fully qualified Youth Worker that has been specialising in supporting those with mental health issues and/ or substance misuse. That’s where I am today but I have travelled a long way to get to this point.
I first encountered Youth Work when I was 14 years old, when a Youth Club became a safe place for me to see my friends outside of school. It soon became a place of safety and growth.
Youth Work led me to grow into the individual I am today. It was a place where I could be heard and express myself with no judgement. It also gave me opportunities to meet new people, reflect on personal choices and it gave me some amazing role models to look up to.
This is what inspired me to want to work with young people, so I then went on to complete my NVQ Level 3 and BaHons in Youth and Community Work. Through this time, I worked for different areas of Youth Work- in youth clubs, 1:1 support, residential, council services, education and now employment-based support.
Yes, Youth Work can be “just kicking a ball around” but that is such a small part of such a massive, diverse and flexible industry that changes to support the need of every young person it encounters. This is the industry that empowers young people to set goals and brighten the future for tomorrow.
So, for me, the importance of Youth Work is making a better tomorrow.