Detached Youthwork - Learning from the Street

Reflections on Youth work, Mission & Church by James Ballantyne

About James:

IMG-20140608-WA0004Hello, and welcome to ‘Learning from the Streets’ a blog by me, James Ballantyne, which at the moment has about 400 articles on it, ranging from detached youthwork, youth ministry, community development, theology, mission and Theodrama. Please do take a look around, use the menus and tags to find articles of practical help or further discussion.

Here is a little bit about me, Currently I am living in Hartlepool, in the North East of England with my wife Lynn, and two teenage children Anna and George. I enjoy cycling , going to the odd boro match with my son, and walking my dog around the north east beaches.

My current professional role is as the Centre Director at Durham YFC which involves managing and supervising youthworkers, and helping in the delivery of detached youthwork, after-schools open youth clubs and schools based mentoring work in County Durham. Whilst detached youthwork is what ive spent alot of time doing, thinking or writing about in the last 10 years, ive also experience in Mentoring and church based work.

I am the north east development worker for Frontier youth trust (FYT) in which i am developing new expressions of detached youthwork in the North East, in County Durham and Newcastle Diocese, So if you’re in the north east and want some free training, consultancy or community profile to start connecting with young people, let me know. I am just finishing an MA in Theology and Ministry at St Johns Durham. I am deeply interested in the ideas about Theology and Theatre, the Godly Theodrama, and our part in re-enacting & improvising this is spaces beyond the walls of the church. Some of the books i have read and inspired by since finishing college ( ICC, Glasgow) have included Kevin Vanhoozer, Paul Ricoeur, Hans George Gadamer, as well as re-reading Jeffs & Smith, Paulo Freire and Augusto Boal.

I am passionate about young people, about youthwork and trying to enable young people to flourish in their communities, and I find that detached youthwork is one of the best ways of enabling this to happen, but its not the only way.  I am also self employed and have delivered training and lectures for ICC, SWYM and CYM, as well as training and seminars for Exeter YMCA, Exmouth ICE, Deep Impact (scotland), St Andrews Episcopal Diocese (Scotland) especially on youthwork training, young people and alcohol and detached youthwork.

A few years ago I was able to contribute some stories and writing towards ‘Here be Dragons: Youthwork & Mission off the map’ which you can buy using the details in thte page above. If you would like to contact me, to have a conversation about youthwork in your church, to book me to deliver training, supervision for a youthworker or a seminar, or strategy day, please use the forms below.

Thank you for visiting this site, I hope you found reading the articles interesting and stimulating for your practice of working with young people, thank you.

Please do contact me if you would like to book training, seminars, or lectures especially on subjects like Detached youth work, mentoring, youthwork practice, management and youthwork, developing strategies for youthwork and Youth, church and Mission.

To contact me directly do so via or leave a comment below, thank you.

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