A returning volunteer's reflections on Courtyard

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Since I started volunteering with the courtyard project, it has been an exciting and rewarding experience. Watching the project grow and develop with the input of all our volunteers of many different ages, experience and backgrounds has really proven to me that the people care about the community of Wood Green and its young people.

Having been a member of this parish for many years I have grown familiar with the many faces of it but will admit, never spoken to many of them. When the Courtyard project began I saw many of those same faces turn up to contribute and have come to know them all better. I feel the project is valuable and am grateful to it, not only for trying to help vulnerable young people but also for strengthening the solidarity within the parish community housing it.

We have gone onto the streets to reach out to the community and its vulnerable young people and have invited them back to our parish safe space with some success. However, we have also gone into St Thomas More secondary school to reach out to the sixth form there. We spoke to them in their classes and got a group of them out doing volunteer work for the local community. It was great getting to know the young people and their opinion on the local area. Hearing their ideas on how to improve the area not only for other young people but for the community as a whole showed that they cared for everyone in their community.

Overall, I feel the project has been a resounding success, but there is still a lot more work to be done. We are constantly working to improve our methods of reaching out to vulnerable young people and improving our relations with the local community as well as involving the parish community in our activities.

Joshua, Wood Green

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