In this month’s article I would like to share with you an interview between myself and a young person who I would like to call “Lucy” she is aged 16 and has been with us for the past six months. Lucy has kindly shared her experience with us and we are pleased with the steps she is taking in her life.
How would you have described yourself six months ago before coming to The Door?
Boring, little to no confidence, didn’t socialise much, found change scary.
How did you come about arriving at The Door?
A friend of mine asked me to attend the Drop-in with her. My first impressions? – It wasn’t serious, or like school it was more relaxed, fun and chilled out.
Did you have any preconceived ideas as to what you thought the Drop-in was like?
I have been aware of The Door for a long time and as I was growing up I was aware that it had a bad reputation, rumours of it being not a nice place to go. Hence why I never went.
Do you feel that since you started attending The Door, especially the Drop-in has your opinion of it stayed the same?
Not at all, the environment feels like family, where people from all walks of life can be in one space and feel accepted and where everyone is looking out for one another regardless of age, background or circumstance.
What are your happiest stories at the Drop-in?
The Christmas party was good fun, playing Uno and the just the spontaneity of the Drop-in, anything can happen – in a good way.
What was it about volunteering for The Door that appealed to you?
I was keen to volunteer in Tranzform shop to give back for the support that the youthworkers have given me in the past six months.
You have started your volunteering ASDAN award, could you tell me a bit more about it and how it has helped you?
I just thought that would be volunteering easy and about using common sense however, since being involved in the shop and doing the ASDAN award, volunteering has helped me develop new skills in working with adults and other volunteers with different skills and abilities. I have grown in confidence in speaking to customers as I was really nervous when first asked to go on the till but, Susan and Anne prepared me with what to do if I became nervous, or made a mistake.
You mentioned that you were nervous and a bit worried when volunteering? Have you got any advice for young people who are looking to maybe volunteer somewhere or begin their work experience in the summer, and might be a bit nervous or worried about it?
Worrying is like a rocking horse, it’s something to past the time, but in the end it doesn’t get you anywhere.
What has made the biggest impact since you have been involved at The Door as a volunteer and a young person?
As I suffered with low self esteem I was used to expecting people to say bad things about me. However, since being here at the door and around the staff I’ve picked up on positive messages from them and thought “if only they realised the words they are saying are so positive” and life changing for me.
Could you give an example?
Recently when staff have said “I’m going places” in my work experience and life in general. Or when I’ve felt a bit low at times and someone says something positive and lifts my mood.
I have struggled a lot to know what it’s like to feel happy for a period of time, but since being here I am learning what it’s like to feel happy and also to be ok with this. It still feels very strange and weird, but it is good.
Interviewer: James H Youthwork Manager