What started as a passion based in logic and personal experience is increasingly becoming one fuelled by your voices - the voices of youth workers across the UK.
This term, I have been travelling the country (not unusually), running workshops for youth workers (for the first time ever) and I’m loving them and I really really want to meet more youth workers in the next few weeks.
It is, as always, a great joy and privilege to sit down with those who are serving young people week in week out and to hear from them; to see both the parallels and the great differences in what’s shared from town to town, north to south.
These workshops are spaces for youth workers, parents and student workers to discuss and raise questions around how we prepare young people for uni well. I have re-written it at least three times already off the back of people’s insight and comments and expect for it to change again before too long!
The transition to university is a significant tipping point for our young people and their faith but it can often slip from the agenda amongst the pressures of youth work. I understand why but as I meet more and more youth workers I am only more convinced of the fundamental necessity of engaging with this transitional time for every youth work. The move to university is a move into independence. The responsibility of youth work goes beyond getting young people to stay in chuch until 18 to preparing them for a life of faith and this is a major tipping point on that journey. Whether heading into university or the workplace, one or two can seem too few to invest in preparing. In comparison to your 15 others surely that one or two can head off and be fine. However, within 7 years every single one of your young people will transition out of your youth work, and if we neglect the ones or twos we will soon find that we’ve neglected them all.
My passion for this is being fuelled by more than a belief that this is true - its spurred on by hearing you, the youth workers, say much the same thing, sometimes with tears in your eyes, sometimes with sudden awe at the significance of your role that goes beyond the now, often with great excitement and expectation for what this could mean.
I would love to hear your thoughts - please join the conversation. The following workshops are taking place over the next few months - please email me about joining us, or about hosting one in your town if there are a group of youth workers there. They are focussing on the transition to university but will contain fundamental principles which will be relevant for those going into the workplace also.
Together, I believe we can see young people transition into maturity, into passionate, full lives as they leave home and step into independence. Let’s not underestimate the significance of this next life stage.
York / Tues 21st May - 9.15 - 11.45, Elim Corner, 47-49 Lawrence Street, YO10 3BU
Southampton / 23rd May - 9.30 - 12.00, Central Hall, St Mary Street, Southampton, SO14 1NF (bring pennies for teas and coffees in the cafe in Central Hall)
Plymouth / Mon 3rd June
Exeter / Tues 4th June
Luton / Tues 18th June - this won't be a workshop but I will be hosting a lunch with youth workers so do get in touch and join us if you're a youth worker in the area!
These dates are subject to change so please do get in touch if you're interested in joining us.