As we enter June I have begun to reflect on my youth work experience over lockdown. I have taken part in youth cabinets for 4 years within North Yorkshire, 2 of which at a regional level. During lockdown the way we have conducted our meetings, conventions and planning has completely changed. What would have been a day long activity (complete with travel) once a month or half term has turned into a weekly hour or two from the comfort of my own room. Being from north yorkshire having countywide meetings can be geographically challenging so the way we meet has allowed us to progress through our project quickly. Within the region we have been able to communicate with more professionals from across the county as they now like us work from the comfort of their own home.
As much as this has been beneficial in so many ways a part of what I love about youth work has been lost. The highlights of many events are not the conversation in the room but the ones that my friends and I have after or before. As much as a virtual format makes youth work more convenient, it has lost a key aspect of what makes it so special. Throughout the years I have made life long friends, learned life skills that I could never get in school. My fondest memories often are actually the journey to the venue on the train catching up with people I haven’t seen for months or singing show tunes with full choreography.
When people ask me what I’m the proudest of it’s always the work I have done to improve the community but when they ask me what made it special the answer will always be the people and friends I got to work with. I can’t wait to see them again soon.