Over the years The Door team have always had a really good relationship with schools in the communities where we provide youthwork. And in September, with young people going back to school after the summer, we’d normally be re-establishing these connections. Obviously with schools having to create strict COVID-secure environments this has been quite a challenge for all of us this year.
Like with all things, we are learning to be flexible in our work and in how we engage with schools – respecting that sometimes the answer is “no” or “not yet” and looking for ways in which we can serve the school community whilst keeping everyone safe.
Community Youthworker Willow has been making the most of being welcomed back to Archway School (Stroud). She tells us more:
” I am really excited to have started my visits to Archway every Monday lunch time. This time allows me to hang out with the young people of years 7 and 8, chatting about school, hobbies and anything else they want to! Although I already know a few of the year 8’s from our pre-lockdown sessions, the students in year 7 are all new to me and The Door as our usual transition programmes were cancelled in May. These guys have been engaging very well considering I’m brand new, and I look forward to developing the relationship with them.”
Understandably not everything is possible within the new school environment, and illuminateArchway, our lunchtime activity exploring the Christian Faith has not been able to re-start this term. This is because it is open to those in all year groups and schools are currently operating with single year group bubbles.
Of course things don’t stop when school finishes, and we recognise that the school home run is a great place to bump into young people. Willow continues, “The team and I wander up to Archway every Wednesday after school as part of our detached session. In this time we are able to chat with the young people about school and plans for the week and we have started to form relationships with a few new groups of young people.”
We’re really excited to see how the relationships with these young people, and the school, develop over the coming months.
Stroud isn’t the only area where youthwork teams are out an about, Isak, Kathleen and Sam are also out and about in their own areas across the district making sure that young people have access to their youthworkers too.
For more details about our current sessions keep up to date with the youthwork team on their Instagram Accounts – search @StroudTownDoor, @StonehouseDoor, @DursleyDoor and @WottonDoor for the latest details or to send a message to the youthwork teams in your local area.