Monday 14th December, 2020

Still not perfect.....but I've changed

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I'm still not perfect, but I've changed as a person

A couple of years ago, through one of our youth groups, Romsey Mill started to engage with a group of lads in Year 7, which included Stephen* (*not his real name).

The boys would occasionally come along to the sessions, and over time our youth workers got to know them.

Subsequently, through our partnership with the local school, one of our youth workers, received a referral for some one-to-one work with Stephen.

The work was based around supporting Stephen with his difficulties he was having with relationships at home, and Stephen found this helpful.

Stephen said that it was good to have someone to speak to, particularly a youth worker, as he didn’t like many of his teachers. He also felt that he could trust his youth worker, as he already knew him from the youth club he had been attending.

Towards the end of that year, Romsey Mill received another referral from the school to work with a group of students, particularly focused around their anti-social behaviour and the negative impact that they were having in the local community. Stephen was part of this group as well.

Looking back, Stephen remembers: “In Year 7, I wasn’t very well behaved and it was good just to have time away from the classroom and teachers. The activities that we did in the group were good. We did some trips which was good and also did activities in school. It was good fun but we were also learning.”

The relationships that the youth workers and volunteers built up with these students through the group in school continued through regular contact with them whilst they were doing detached work in the community in the evenings.

At one point, during a Friday evening detached session, the youth workers met some members of this group who were engaging in anti-social behaviour.

They opened the youth centre building up to give the boys somewhere else to be and allowed them to use the pool table, computers and recording studio. At the same time they spoke with and listened to the boys, about what was going on their lives, and what they really wanted to have the opportunity to do.

This led to a regular Friday evening group session for these lads, including Stephen.

Stephen says: “We were just always getting into trouble and climbing stuff. Friday nights [youth club] were good and helped us to keep out of trouble. We were still having fun but not getting into trouble.”

As he reflects back on his time with Romsey Mill, over the past couple of years, Stephen sums it up like this: “I’m a lot more mature than I was. I don’t climb buildings anymore but play basketball and stuff instead. I’m still not perfect but my involvement with Romsey Mill has helped a lot. I’ve changed as a person.”



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