‘Young people need looking out for’  

One bitterly cold evening, exactly a week before Christmas, three of us were out on a detached session in Wood Green. We weren’t expecting much, what with the temperature plummeting, and darkness falling.

 As we walked past a bakery we often visit, a young man standing outside called out abruptly

 “What’s that?!”

 “What’s what?” we replied, trying to judge the situation and inviting him to chat to us more.

 The young man was asking about our lanyards and badges, and then about what we were doing. Our conversation with him became a really positive one.

 We told him that we were youth workers on a detached session, reaching out to young people in the community. We also explained that one thing we offer is to help them find a safe space and to respond to their needs and ideas.

 Next he told us…

“what you’re doing is really good…

keep doing it because young people need looking out for,

especially by guys like you”.

 After our conversation, my mood elevated to a level where I could not contain my delight. I said to the rest of the team that it was the first time a young person had taken the initiative and engaged with us first.

 It made me realise that young people are willing to speak to us, even though it may not seem so at first.

 This year I feel very optimistic about Courtyard. I realise that young people are just like us, they need someone to reach out to them, even if it is only saying “Hi”.

Chris, Courtyard Volunteer