10 of the deeply frustrating moments on the streets

I may really love detached youthwork, there are times when its all roses, and dramatic, purposeful and worth every moment, and the latest list of 10 is not reason to think that there may be reasons behind these moments to learn from, however – there can be some really difficult times, bleak and challenging incidents- which can be hugely useful to be present in, but doesnt make them heart wrenching.

  1. The moments when you think, without being judgemental, during a conversation with a young adult that not only should they deserve better to be treated in the way they have described, but that theres limited you can do but listen, share and support, however helpful this is.
  2. That moment when groups of young people fit the stereotype
  3. The moment when adults in the streets behave worse than the young people, and they dont realise it.
  4. The moment when the group you want to talk to dont sit down and theres no way of enabling a conversation
  5. The moment when you know you spoke to someone a few months ago and you cant remember their name- they remember yours, its on your ID
  6. That moment when you can tell a young person wants to talk in the here and now but that the group dynamics wont allow it.
  7. That moment when volunteers who get the nature of the work, that you invest in with time, training and supervision build great relationships with young people- only for them to move on after a year or two.
  8. The moment when people like the space that you create with young people and they want to take advantage of this for their own ends. The difference between detached and outreach. the difference between believing in long term process and investing, and the publicity monster of a provider who needs to be seen to do something.
  9. The moment when the Police interrupt the work, just their presence changes the tone of the moment.
  10. The moment when after a great night on detached, great conversations, great teamwork – when the adrenaline is still going 2 hours later and its going to be a late night trying to sleep.

A number 11 would include finding funding or poor management, however i wanted to focus on the moments on the streets themselves as opposed to organisational sustainability or structures.

Got to take the rough with the smooth, and learn the complexity of the moments on the streets.



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