I’m writing this in the in-between hour. The hour before meeting up with the team and heading out on detached youthwork in Gilesgate.
Ever since I started detached back in 2006 in Perth this hour before detached has been an odd time in the rhythm of my youthwork week. .
On one hand there’s nothing to do for the detached – no props, programmes or stuff to get ready, aside from review sheets, the bag and checking the weather. Yet its also a bit of space between the admin, or day to day type of youthwork with the distinctiveness of the pace of youthwork on the streets.
Its usually a time to eat, to grab a coffee and tidy the desk.
Its a gap between the office emptying from one form of youth provision, to when others arrive for another.
Its a space in between. Sometimes its a lovely space to prepare. Sometimes it a lonely space of being alone. Sometimes its a sacred space to begin to look forward and treasure moments of conversations with young people. Other times its a motivation thing – can I be bothered to go out in the unpredictable world of the streets? Sometime I have a love-hate relationship with this hour before the unexpectedness of detached youthwork.
Even 10 years into doing this detached youthwork, the hour before hand is less of an oasis of peace and tranquillity, but a clock-watching drag. I used to have different experiences with the ‘group’ based youthwork in churches and clubs. The waiting took on a different feel, and different questions like ‘have i prepared enough? or did i remember to get the snacks?’ or ‘will young people turn up?’
The waiting hour before detached feels different, its a quiet space in between noise. Its a space I have a love-hate relationship with… what about you? Anyone else have a not so favourite time in their youthwork week?