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Day in the Life of our Youth Worker, Jessica

27 May 2021

We know our youth workers are brilliant, but do you know what they do during an average day? Here’s more about Jessica!

What’s a typical working day for you?
A typical working day for me includes heading to a secondary school in Reading or Wokingham to work with between four and eight young people a day, talking through what is going well and not so well for them in school. I work across five schools, which is a different school every day, Monday to Friday. I like this as it keeps things interesting and different each day. During the day, I have one-to-one sessions with young people for 30 to 60 minutes to discuss how their week has been and to work on any aspects they are struggling with. This continued with most young people throughout lockdown as they had access to virtual sessions, although face-to-face ones are much better!

Twice a week, I run youth club sessions in the evenings – one in Bracknell and one in Winnersh – with young people aged 8 to 14-years-old. These are great as you see the young people in a different setting than school, and it is also another opportunity to check in on them and any issues they may be having.

What do you find most challenging about being a youth worker?
How often I get mistaken for a counsellor (sometimes even a pupil at the school due to my height – or lack of it!) Lots of people do not understand the role of a youth worker and often get confused. Luckily, I have a new jumper as part of my uniform, with ‘youth worker’ clearly written on the back – this should clear up some confusion!

What do you enjoy most about your job?
The positive impact you can make on a young person’s life, even if this is through a short project, a longer project or an activity or trip. The trips are also a major positive of the job; I have got to do many things myself that I would not have had the opportunity to do without this job – some highlights for me so far are doing the 100-mile canoe challenge along the River Wye and going to Germany on an exchange to Leverkusen to visit the youth club there!

What is your background?
I have been involved in youth work since 2014, when a member of Berkshire Youth staff came into my old youth club, where I was volunteering at the time and used to attend as a young person. Alongside volunteering, I was working part time in a local soft play centre whilst completing my A Levels. Berkshire Youth ran the Fit 4 Youth project with us at the youth club and it was great – I quizzed the Berkshire Youth worker about her job and I wanted in! I did three weeks’ work experience with Berkshire Youth in the summer of 2014 and did every project they had to offer, and I have never left after being offered a job in the September. My role has changed a few times since starting with Berkshire Youth, but each project has been great and it has been nice to be involved in lots of different projects.

Thank you, Jessica, for telling us more about the wonderful work you do with young people across Berkshire. You really are a valued member of the Berkshire Youth team.

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