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Some questions for Sarah


Question: What do you do to unwind at the end of a long day? Answer: I love spending time with my family and friends usually coupled with a nice meal somewhere. I love St. Ouen and enjoy the sunset and a good walk with a view always clears my mind.


Question: What do you like the most about being a Youth Worker?


Answer: Every day is different. I feel very privileged that young people engage in the opportunities we offer them and seek advice and a listening ear when they face problems in their lives. Being an adult who can really help them and have a positive impact on their lives and share so many important memorable moments with them. Having so much fun and making a difference, that’s what I love about my job.


Question: What do you dislike most about being a Youth Worker?


Then it's time to have a break before the evening session starts. There are three sessions on a Friday evening - youth project, mobile and street based. I tend to go out with the street based team as this is the liveliest session. We meet at the Youth project in Liberation Square and decide as a team where we will head to that evening. The team moves around St. Helier to the places where young people congregate. One week we may spend the evening at one of the parks, or on the beach or squished into any covered space in the winter to stay out of the rain… you’d be surprised at some of the places I have spent a Friday evening with young people! We never know what to expect on a Friday night and we could be faced with situations where young people are under the influence of alcohol or indulging in antisocial behaviour. With emotions heightened and with onlookers and other adults trying to get involved these situations can be challenging to manage. But they can also be very rewarding. We have a great team of committed staff and building relationships with these young people allows us to support them to make positive decisions.


After a debrief back at the youth project it’s time to go home and a well-deserved sleep!


Answer: Sometimes the hours can be long and the situations we are dealing with extremely difficult, but this is always outweighed by the good that comes of these situations.


Question: How did you become a Youth Worker? Answer: From about the age of 13 I was part of the Jersey Youth Service and attended a youth project. I then became a young worker and helped at my local youth project. When I turned 18 I started working one night a week at the youth project in Liberation Square (where I now work as the senior youth worker). During this time I had another job working with children and completed my distance learning degree in Youth & Community Studies. As I progressed through the course I took on more hours and responsibility with the Youth Service and on gaining my professional qualification became a senior youth worker. I really have gone through all the ranks of the youth service, and I always knew I wanted to work with children and young people. Looking back now my youth workers definitely inspired me.


Question: What advice would you give someone, either just starting their career or midway through their career, who wants to be a Youth Worker?


Answer: If you want a job with young people that is rewarding and varied, fun and challenging then youth work is for you. Be prepared to work hard and put the time and energy into building relationships. It is not always easy and at times can weigh heavy on your heart, but being a part of the transition from a young person into adulthood and all the laughter and tears, fun and fear that brings, really is amazing.


CHALLENGING 20/20 A day in the life of... Page 107


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