Young person affirms our work
Knowing when to first say 'hello' can be nerve racking with a new group of young people. A detached team from one of our parishes recently had an uplifting experience with this, that they wanted to share.
After observing one large and loud group, in the same place for a couple of weeks, the team decided to wander passed and just say "hi", calmly and gently to start engaging. As they started out to do so, a man in his early twenties rushed over and asked if he could talk to them! On learning that they were youth workers he then started sharing about the young people in that area, how they might seem dismissive because of their pass hurtful experiences, but underneath this, they truly did want to "build a better future for themselves and others".
When the team spoke about how they hoped to help young people, patiently build rapport, give them a voice, space and chance to give something back, the young man put it in his own words: "Building trust with young people here takes time. It's like love. You don't just fall in love, it builds slowly, like building a house"
What an inspiration, to find the heart of Courtyard - building meaningful relationships through accompanying young people - expressed by one of the young people we are seeking to work with.
The team that night took this as a huge encouragement, and before they left the young man added: "People like you, good people, you should be brave and speak to young people. They will see you are good and have something good to offer them, that you want to help."
May we all take encouragement from this, be bold to make those new links into our communities and accompany young people we meet there.
Tadz, Wood Green