Being part of Youthscape
Last year Youthscape launched a new Graduate Volunteer Scheme – an opportunity for graduates to spend a year experiencing and investing in youth work at local and national levels through work in schools, churches and national scale projects. We’re now inviting applications for the 2016-17 team and have asked one of this year’s participants to write about her year so far. Here’s Sophie:
My year so far...
I’m just starting my third term at Youthscape on the Graduate Volunteer Scheme and I’m still absolutely loving it. Since September I’ve had the opportunity to get stuck into everything Youthscape! I’ve been able to work directly with young people in schools through group and one to one mentoring, coming alongside young people in care and at the weekly local youth café held at Youthscape. I’ve also had the opportunity to work with young people in a church setting and outreaching to the estate the church is on. I’ve also been helping to run a Developing Spiritually course which was such a great experience. Being able to see young people grow and begin to understand themselves has been amazing.
It has been a blessing to be able to work with one of Youthscape’s national projects, selfharmUK, as it a subject close to my heart. I’ve really enjoyed contributing to the website - finding others to write articles and blogs, whilst writing a few myself. It’s been challenging but rewarding journeying with those struggling with self harm through ways such as Alumina online. I’ve had the opportunity to attend a number of selfharmUK training events where I have gained knowledge and have been so encouraged by the quality of training and number of people who want to learn more about self harm.
I’ve felt so welcomed into the Youthscape team and have developed wonderful friendships with my fellow GVS-ers! Through my time here, I’ve learnt so much, not only about what good youth work looks like, but about myself too. I’ve grown in my relationship with God, my confidence and as a person. I knew doing this scheme would be a big step outside of my comfort zone, but I’ve found that Youthscape has been a really safe space to try new things and grow, whilst feeling really supported in doing so.
It has been such a unique opportunity to spend my year volunteering at Youthscape, gaining valuable youth work experience, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed myself. Even though financially it has been a challenge, it has been totally worth it! I’d definitely recommend the scheme to anyone who wants to give a year to God and is interested in working with young people.
If you’d like to know more about GVS, there’s plenty of information along with brochures, application forms and jelly babies* at www.youthscape.co.uk/about/gvs