Since taking on my new role as Director of Service Delivery at The Door, that broadens my role to include our Youthwork service teams, I have been on a steep learning curve to appreciate the real purpose and focus of Youthwork at The Door. If like me your assumptions about youthwork are of a ‘down with the kids’ hip person hanging out with young people in a youth centre. Or someone organising trips and activities to keep young people busy; then just like me, you’d only be appreciating a small part of what it means to do Youthwork at The Door. So what is this missing piece? Quite simply, we believe that the most effective Youthwork is done at the heart of the community.
So yes while we do work with young people in centres across the District – ‘the down with the kids’ bit is less important than coming alongside those who are troubled or need support. While we do organise and focus young people in activities to stimulate and broaden their thinking, we don’t stop there. Across the district and wherever we are called, our aim is to align ourselves to the local communities we serve, supporting both emotionally and practically in the most appropriate way needed. And we do this formally by working with established community based organisations and groups; as well as informally, making it our business to connect with people on the streets and where they live. And why do we do this? Because fundamentally we believe that we need to support people where they are not be confined to a building. And despite the rhetoric, that ‘the young people of today’ are the issue, we know that they make up only a small part of the demographic of communities. So our passion is to positively affect the lives of young people in all communities and to work with people of all ages in those communities to do likewise, through challenging assumptions and taking a fresh perspective on the potential that young people bring.
Victoria R, Director of Service Delivery