Young people opening up
Courtyard, and helping others is one of the things I mention to my friends when they ask what I’m up to. Seeing young open up through the project has been wonderful.
I first met Peter* during our campaign in the Wood Green shopping centre. He seemed very interested in the idea of Courtyard and, unlike many, came over and stayed to see what it was actually about. Through his time with us, it was wonderful to see him open up to the other volunteers, but there was one point when at last, I felt that he and I made a real breakthrough.
I had been trying to engage with the young people, and often received a cold shoulder, or a grunt if they were in a good mood – but a few weeks after first meeting him, Peter and I talked, properly, for the first time. He began telling me about his dreams and past experiences (both good and bad). It was so heart-warming to know that he felt safe enough to open up to me so much, and he was also willing to listen to what I had to say in response.
Courtyard has been tiring, mentally and physically, with questions around my caffeine intake some weeks! Nothing worthwhile comes easily, but let me tell you, helping out at CY has been worth the effort, even for the short chats with young people about their CV, or half-hour discussions about their life.
I’ve learned a great deal about people by helping at Courtyard and I hope that I will continue to learn more.
*not his real name
Artur, Wood Green