February’s youthwork theme of ‘Feel the Love’, loosely linked to St Valentine’s Day on the 14th, has given the young people a chance to discuss and explore all types of relationships.
Developing the skills to have healthy relationships is a key stage of adolescent development, whether it’s about understanding what’s ok in a romantic relationship, getting on well with your parents or learning how to relate to your boss.
One of the underlying principles of youthwork at The Door is creating safe spaces for young people to socialise, recognising that even in today’s culture of living life online, actually hanging out in the same room as other people is still important.
Another of our key principles is the power of ongoing positive relationships between youthworkers and young people. It’s why The Door invests so much in having a team of high quality staff; equipping a team of people that are committed to long-term relationships with young people through our detached, centre based and mentoring work.
A few weeks ago, during a youth club session, a young person trusted me enough to share her concerns about the plans her friends had for the coming weekend. Beth was worried, that the things they were planning had the potential to lead them to get involved in activities that could become dangerous. As we chatted her plans through, it was clear that she was having second thoughts, and as she left she was undecided. Later that week I was really pleased to hear that she’d changed her mind, and convinced her friends to do so too, and that their weekend had been incident free.
Building a long term relationship and learning to trust someone enough to be open and honest about life is really important for young people’s well-being. Beth knew that, by coming to The Door, she could talk about her life without judgement. This helped her make the best choices.