I’d been teaching part-time in higher education for several years
and was leading a youth group as a volunteer when I took up this
post. I have always enjoyed communicating with young people, so
this seemed a great opportunity.
Originally the job was for 24 hours a week, which attracted me
because I could continue with my other commitments.
I manage a team of seven, including three full-time workers, who
devise and lead sex and relationship education sessions in schools
and youth clubs and run training for professionals. We also support
I work in a supportive atmosphere, with a team linked by a shared
belief in the rights and potential of all young people.
Young people are often demonised in our culture and certainly when
you first encounter a group of young offenders or looked-after
children their behaviour can be scary! Make the effort to build
trust with them though and 99 per cent are open to change and have
a lot of energy to offer.
On Monday mornings it’s the fun of working with them that drags me
out of bed.
We also work with a variety of agencies – primary care trusts,
social services, education, youth service, Connexions.
It can be frustrating if you feel not everyone is focused on young
people’s best interests. But the many inspirational people I’ve met
through this job help me overcome this.
A day like yesterday keeps me going. After a hectic few hours in
the office I raced home, made my kids their tea and rushed off for
a session with a group of care leavers.
I was shattered and they looked unenthusiastic. But soon we were
laughing and discussing the terrible things life has thrown at
them. Their openness, humour and resilience was great and they
responded well to the sexual health issues I raised. I went home