In October 2019 I delivered my 2nd 3 days of training for Highlife Highland in the north of Scotland, for a groups of up to 20 youthworkers, sessional, part time and full time across the Highland region.
What a fabulous part of the world… but also a place where youthwork is vital.
The sessions were tailored to the organisation, and included refreshers on youthwork, its theory, nature, and history, as well as thinking though values, community development and group work. A considerable amount of time in the sessions was on the development of detached youthwork, using a process, and thinking through relationships, aims of detached work, its challenges, and opportunities, as well as how it might be reviewed, reflected on and evaluated on.
I also had the opportunity to walk out with the team on detached for two evenings, and give them opportunity to reflect on the process of their practice the next day, on this occasion there were the fair ground in town… so a bit different to normal… but when is normal on detached anyway!
It was great to get such positive feedback for these sessions, it certainly feels as though having an external person journey alongside, help reflect and develop theory for youthwork practice was seen as a positive thing, im usually worried about being seen as some kind of youthwork ofsted inspector.. the reality is that the good that we are all doing needs better ways of being continually valued and affirmed… its a tough world out there, and young people need their gifts and needs responded to in more and more appropriate ways.
Some of the feedback for these sessions and what the participants found most useful included:
Affirmation of the fact that a lot of what we are already doing is really good
Stimulating thought and discussion about how we can do a better job
Bringing staff together being in the same space Informative and engaging
Theories, discussion and reflection Activities and group discussions
More information about different aspects of youthwork Theories, meeting other youthworkers
Every child is different and every group is different, Everyone elses opinions, reassessing my own youthwork and development
The history of youthwork Thoughts on the values of youthwork
Values and approaches, Reflecting on basic practice
Speaking in groups and getting to hear lots of different answers/views
Engaging, To reflect on my own practice
Good to review process, The 9 stages (more of this see ‘here be dragons’ in the menu above) , seeing how they fit into practice , pros and cons of detached and attached youthwork, nice to know the background of detached youthwork, Seeing detached youthwork in a different perspective
It was a good time for learning and reflection, and, reading these evaluations, a definite sense that the sessions and training was beneficial, to aid learning and think through practice. Thank you to Highland Highlife for this opportunity. Do be in contact if you would like me to deliver training to your teams, volunteers and workers.