2015-01-19 16.06.28
January 23rd, 2015

Feeding the ducks

We often hear stories of difficult incidents or situations that are faced by the girls that we work with or those close to them. We work hard to support these young women by listening, allowing them space to talk about and process their feelings, helping them decide how they want to respond and advocating for them where appropriate. Despite our best efforts however these situations are rarely resolved over night. We have to accept that not all things are within our control and our role is often more one of walking alongside young people in the difficulty rather than heroically saving the day. This is hard when all of our instincts are to want to make things ok for these young women.

It seems to have been one of those weeks with a number of troubling situations coming to light. As we have discussed as a team how best to support these young women, we have reflected in each case on the significance of simply offering them some respite and relief from their difficulty; a consistent, safe and welcoming space where they are shown kindness and respect and can have some fun with friends. One of these young woman who we have worked with for 2 years wrote on a Girls Club feedback form recently, “I have learnt how to be happy”. When I read her comment I thought back over all the fun we’ve had with her; having water fights, learning to swim on a residential, telling embarressing stories and laughing til we’ve cried and most recently feeding the ducks in the park for the first time. Her situation has improved over the time we have worked with her and we have been part bringing that change, but she still faces real challenges. We haven’t “fixed” her situation but I think its experiences like this that have enabled her to find glimpses of happiness in the midst of all she has going on, and that have fuelled her resilience and hope for the journey forward.