Joining the dots and breaking the ice (The 'big guy' has a name)
Apart from the obvious reference, who is 'the big guy'?
Since April 2015, St Paul’s, through our Courtyard project, have been building rapport with some of the hardest to reach young people in our area. Through this kind of process, you often develop nicknames for young people you recognise, but haven’t met properly yet.
'Big guy' was one of these young people. After over 2 years of patiently 'becoming part of the furniture', as Kathy puts it, we bumped into 'big guy' near the High Road and he was finally willing to chat to us!
We passed through his group of friends, were called 'the police', and took this chance to explain who we really were. Suddenly one of the group started rapping! Noticing what young people have, wear, do or say is often a good way to start a conversation. We used this rapping as a way to keep chatting, asking about the music and what inspires it. It was his experience of growing up in the area which gives him his motivation.
After this, the rest of the group began to chip in, with the 'big guy' (he’s very tall) mentioning they have seen us around at MacDonald’s.
It was a very interesting and rewarding session, learning 'big guy'’s real name and meeting the rapper. It was also rewarding seeing as the group accepted us in their space, and shared something of themselves with us, through the rap.
We pray that we get more chances to meet these young people, and for them to trust us more and more. It would be wonderful to be able to continue to explore with them their creativity, and what fuels it.
Tadz, Wood Green