I am almost 6 months into this new job, and if i am honest in the last three i have begun to feel as though things are beginning to move, rather than my own justifying that they are. Over the past few weeks training has begun for the new volunteers in Ottery St Mary, and we have begun doing some observation sessions on the streets, and so for me this really is starting all over again, but with different intentions. I have always liked training, being able to encourage and educate people into doing something new, challenging their comfort zones and enabling them to reflect on their experiences. And so, 8 sessions later, with 4 different volunteers I am back on the road, on the streets, and finding out what the evening life is like for the young people here. I am being a detached youthworker again…
but doing it in a rural context, which is strange as i am so used to the ‘small city’ context, along with the neighbourhood stuff in the communities of Perth- but none of it was the quintessentially rural feel that Ottery has to it. And so the challenges that the young people face here are different, and the opportunities for developing work equally so.
Theres a strange cultural difference here too, in that the young people are quite used to adults acknowledging them on the streets in a friendly way as they pass, its that kind of rural friendly place. So going beyond the ‘Hi’ is a challenge, when for most an acknowledgement in a city context could infer an intention for further interaction. Its a slight contrast but an interesting one, and one to overcome with thought and reflection.
So the detached youthworker is back on the streets…. let the journey begin….