Regularly going out on the streets during the evenings is a valuable means for us to build trusting relationships with young people. Enaging with them in an open and non-judgemental manner, we then support them in any way we can. Sometimes all we can offer is a listening ear, other times we can provide information and advice on particular issues. Working with other local organisations we can also signpost young people to various opportunities and resources.
Throughout history detached youth work has focused on the value of informal learning through conversation and dialogue. We encourage young people to talk about the issues that are most relevant to them. This could include anything from their interests and hobbies to drugs and alcohol or politics and relationships. In exploring these topics we encourage young people to voice their views and challenge them to explore their values, attitudes and actions in relation to the world around them. As relationships develop we can begin to see the real needs of young people and work with them to meet these needs. This could be setting up a group mentoring programme focused centered around a particular need or even helping them preparing for a job interview. We have to be flexible and respond to the ever changing situations.
Outreach is similar to detached but instead involves us setting us base with our gazebo and bean bags in a particular spot in Didcot, usually one of the local parks. Informing young people where we are through our social media pages, they are then free to come join us for a hot chocoloate or chat, or just to access a positive environment in which to socialise with their friends.