Hello! and welcome to my monthly blog. This is just to give you an insight as to what Sidewalk is like from my perspective as a student youth worker. So to start off with, a little about me...
I'm Pamela Campbell, 19 years old and originally from Glasgow. At the beginning of October I started a course in Youth Work and Applied Theology at International Christian College in Glasgow. As part of this course I started a student placement here, at Sidewalk. Now, seven weeks on, I'm just about settled in and I'm loving it.
Starting at Sidewalk was great and really exciting for me even though, to begin with, everything was a bit strange. Firstly, I moved out of my family home to move in to the student flat. That was odd. I’d always thought of myself as fairly independent but I’ve learned that I wasn’t. The things you have to buy when your parents aren’t there to do it for you! Luckily, studying in Glasgow means I still get to see my family quite a lot which has made the transition a lot easier. Secondly, starting college was a big change. Last year, I’d been studying Biology at Glasgow University, and partially expected college to be the same. They could not be more different. Instead of big lecture halls, we are in class rooms and instead of trying desperately to remember someone’s name, you seem to know everyone in college. It’s so different, but it’s excellent.
Thirdly, I started my placement here. Any youth work experience I’ve had has all been in a Church Hall, or at least some kind of centre, with “Church kids” coming along. As you can probably imagine, the work that Sidewalk does is so different from that and it was a bit of a shock to the system. The strangest thing for me was the unpredictability of it all. In anything I’ve done before, you can expect to see the same young people come along to anything that is happening. I realised very quickly that is not the case here. On my first night out, it was really quiet and we had some good conversations with a few groups of young people. I was thinking that it must be fairly typical for this time of year, seeing as it’s cold outside. I was completely wrong. The next time I went out the shows were in town and the place was buzzing. We had an action filled night which was non-stop from start to finish. Week two was when I stopped making predictions on what a night would be like.
So, like I said, I’m just about settled in now and the past seven weeks have been great. I’ve now completed the Sidewalk Training, I’ve met all the staff members for Sidewalk, I’ve been out on Friday and Saturday night sessions as well as in St John’s Academy for SE classes and lunch time sessions and I’m just starting mentoring with a young person who we've met on the street a few times. So that’s a catch up on everything so far, it’s been an exciting time for me and I’m looking forward to what’s yet to come.