Author: lauren

What impact does detached youth work have?

Youth work can be interesting sometimes because we can often think that ‘surely if we put out some games and snacks, young people will almost certainly attend and join in with the activities we put on’, but this doesn’t happen as much as we’d hope it would.

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I remember being a teenager, and every week I and my youth group would go to the local park, hand out hot chocolates and play football with the other teenagers there. A few of those young people then asked questions about what we were doing and why we were doing it, and one or two of them came to our church youth group after a while, but a lot of them didn’t. I think a lot of them found security in being outside, in an open space, that was free and accessible to everyone. Sometimes walking into a closed space, which isn’t as open to the public as a park is, can feel intimidating or awkward.

At Energize we recognise this, and so around the school holidays we will sometimes do some detached work, which means we go to local parks, and hangout places where young people tend to gather, get to know them and speak to them about what we do and how we would love to see them at our activities. As we go into their spaces, we take the reins and responsibility of potentially feeling like the vulnerable ones. But in doing so, we have often started new connections with young people or strengthened old ones, whilst playing football or riding in the skatepark.

Studies and statistics from across the country including youth groups and local councils have found that detached youth work is one of the most effective ways to reach young people where they are at. The Centre for Youth Impact, based in London, conducted a study in their study of eight youth work settings around England (though both detached work and youth clubs). They found that young people started to really value youth workers, as they felt they were understanding, non-judgemental and safe people to speak to who weren’t parents or teachers.

We have planned to include detached youth work in all of our holiday schemes throughout the year, as we recognise that young people need people who will reach out to them, wherever they are; whilst also be invited to a place where they know will be safe, where they can have fun, and where they can meet new people their age, and positive role models.

If you would like to or know a young person who would like to sign up for our Easter Holiday Scheme Programme, please use the links below:

https://bit.ly/EnergizeParentConsentForm

bit.ly/EnergizeEasterSchemes

An interview with an Energize Young Person

We caught up with one of our Energize young people from our Waddington Youth Club to hear about how she is finding the youth club.

What is your favourite thing about Energize? 

Everything.

Does coming to Energize have a positive impact on your life?

Scored: 4/5

Can you give an example of how Energize has made a positive impact on your life (if any at all)?

It has made me happy to come and see friends every week.

Has Energize helped you in any way (physically, mentally, emotionally, relationally etc) over the past year of the pandemic?

Scored: 4/5

Can you give an example of how Energize has helped you over the past year? Expand on your previous answer.

It has helped me feel more confident and have fun.

It is great to hear about young people being impacted by youth work in the city. To hear of young people enjoying our youth clubs because they are building friendships as well as building their confidence is so encouraging. Above is a picture from Waddington Youth Club of some young people playing sports. Often when young people come to us, they are shy and won’t want to engage much with the activities. Here we can see that they are having a great time playing sports and building friendships.

How can people get involved or support?

We’re always looking for people to volunteer with us (Get in touch for more info about this).

Our New Peer Mentoring Course

As a team, we recently made a new, twelve-week course as part of our schools-work projects. The course is called ‘Peer Mentoring.’ Our aim and hope is to empower and equip older pupils, from year 12-13, with the tools and experience to mentor younger pupils in their school.

The first six weeks focus on different areas of mentoring. These include, ‘good help, seeing the best in others, being yourself, empathy, healthy thinking, skillful thinking and getting started.’ The following six weeks will be when the pupils are paired with younger pupils and, as a team, we will meet with the peer mentors to discuss how their mentoring sessions are going.

We are currently rolling out a trial of the course in a secondary school at the moment. This will enable us to reflect, adapt, and improve the course, and start it again for the next group of students. Our first week was really successful! We were able to build great foundational relationships with the pupils, which we hope will enable us to teach them well.

Research has found that peer mentoring has high success rates, as student mentees are said to connect more with mentors when they’re closer in age as they feel that can relate to them more than an adult or teacher. To reinforce this, we have gathered the perspectives of teachers, qualified counsellors, and therapists. The conclusion from the discussions we had was that they believe peer mentoring will have many positive outcomes and is worth the investment.

We are excited about the starting of this course and are believing for it to connect well with the peer-mentors, and as an overflow effect, their pupils will benefit from strong mentoring sessions.

Click here to find out more information on our Energize Project.

How can being in a community benefit me?

By Lauren Johnson – Energize Activity Youth Worker

“Alone, we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

Over the past year, communities across Lincoln, the nation, and the nations have come together like nothing I’ve ever seen before. From doorstop and garden visits in the freezing cold, for a ten-minute chat about the week, to making meals as an act of compassion to those who have lost loved ones. This year communities everywhere have stepped up their game to love each other. I find it inspiring.

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Youth and COVID-19

By Lauren Johnson

Have you ever felt scared and hopeful at the same time? So many young people around the country have said they feel the same with regards to COVID-19, the impact it has had and will have on their lives in the future.

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