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April 1st, 2011

Youth Work works!

We always knew this but it was proved this week at the Institute of Educations Evaluation of the Salmon Youth Centre event. Here is a copy of the report summary. For me one of the key findings of the report and was reflected in the presentation at the event, was that relationships are key to the development of ‘good’ youth work.

At the Canaan Project relationships are key and we view them as ‘working with’ young people rather than ‘on them’. It is essential that we take time to walk young people through to adulthood, not pushing or coercing them, but standing with them and supporting them. Sometimes it is about offering a reflective ear to help young people think, as mentioned in the previous blog.

Young people are different and there are many different experiences, I was watching Teen Speech today just before writing this blog, I was reminded that there are some many different young people with different experiences, some running through to adulthood, not worried – barely even realising it is happening, whilst others struggle and stumble, get stuck and end up damaged and hurting. There was a lot of talk about the ‘Salmon Model’ and whether this is something that can be bottled and packaged and sent out nationally. I am not convinced…people respond to people not models (in the main). The Salmon Youth Centre and The Canaan Project’s success is down to committed, passionate, gifted and skilled volunteers and staff, making a difference to young people lives by walking with them.