Catch Up Blog! (July)
Okay, so, I haven’t written a blog in ages.
Here’s the catch up…
College is finished for this year. I can’t believe that first year is over already. It doesn’t feel like a whole year has passed since I was interviewing for placements.
I finished my work with Reality at Perth Academy. We finished around the Easter holidays with a camp at the Abernethy Trust in Ardeonig. We had a great week away, with everyone getting to experience something new. The young people were all really excited to get a week away from home and to get do things like high ropes, crate climbing, hill walking, low ropes, canoeing and kayaking. It was an amazing week. Some of the transformations that we saw in young people were incredible.
Since I’ve last posted, Matthew has stepped back from his role in the project. He is a student with George Williams College and he was splitting his time with other YMCA projects and Sidewalk. He’s now concentrating on the other YMCA work but he’s stayed on as a volunteer for the project. I find it strange being out with Matthew because I guess I had a tendency to let him lead the sessions, but as a volunteer I know he’s supposed to let me lead it. I think he makes a conscious effort to encourage me to take the lead, but it’s taking a bit of getting used to.
I’ve been doing more sessions with just a volunteer and myself. It took a little bit of getting used to. It’s strange to be the one making decisions and taking a lead in conversations. I guess I didn’t realise that I wasn’t doing these things until I had to suddenly. It has been good though, it’s made me think through what goes on a lot more, and it makes me more proactive in conversations, which is good because now people actually know who I am instead of just being “the sidewalk girl”.
The project was involved in the Driving Ambition fair towards the end of the school term. The fair goes round the schools in Perth and Kinross for young car users. It was good to be there and see lots of young people at the various schools around the city centre and be alongside other agencies that work with young people in the town. I think we got a bit card-happy at some points, which meant that when we went out on the weekend session afterwards we carried it on, and gave out tonnes of cards. It was good to see people from different schools in the area, and good to hear that people recognised us from the streets.
Other than all that, I’ve been to a conference or two about alcohol misuse which is always interesting and gives a great chance to network. I attended the Spirit of Youth Awards, where Sidewalk sponsored an award. It was really great to hear the stories of all the young people nominated. I’ve also been at one of the meetings about the North Muirton Diversionary Pilot. It was an interesting opportunity to listen to the different agencies involved. The first event is a Disco in North Muirton, and we’ll be around there tonight to see what’s going on.
So, it is summer now and things have quietened down on Sidewalk. The reliably unreliable weather has meant that fewer people are hanging about outside, and since the schools work has stopped for the summer everything feels very quiet. Through the summer we are going to be out on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights as well as Saturday afternoons. Hopefully we’ll get a bit more of the hot and sunny weather and there will be people around who are up for venturing outside.
I’m looking forward to the rest of this summer though. Starting next week for three weeks, I’m going to be volunteering at a project in Dundee called “Hot Chocolate”. The programme they run over the next three weeks is pretty busy, so they were looking for volunteers to help out. It will be a good opportunity for me to get experience in another area of youth work. Plus, from what I’ve heard of it, it should be a great laugh. Other than that I’m going to be hoping for nicer weather and this summer should fly by and before I know it, second year will have started.