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  • Memories of the Waterside

    PRIZE DRAW – please send us your memories of the Waterside Centre!

    13 September 2021

  • NYA Guidance – 6 September 2021

    On Monday 6 September, the National Youth Agency published Version 8 of the NYA Covid Guidance document, moving the youth sector to Green in the Readiness Framework.

    8 September 2021

  • New Leisure Strategy for West Berkshire – Have Your Say!

    West Berkshire Council is asking people who live and visit West Berkshire to tell them about the leisure activities they do, what they would like to do and what stops them from doing more.

    2 September 2021

  • Charity Reporting and Accounting

    Our Finance Manager, Debbie, takes you through what you should know about charity reporting and accounting.

    26 August 2021

  • Day in the Life of our Operations Director, Sarah

    Here, we catch up with our inspirational Operations Director, Sarah, to learn more about the important role she has at Berkshire Youth.

    26 August 2021

  • Rainbow Park Summer Activity Day

    The young people at Rainbow Park in Winnersh enjoyed a fun summer activity day at their youth club with an inflatable obstacle course, biscuit decorating and a Mario kart competition.

    26 August 2021

  • Tilehurst Parish Council – Still Time to Share Your Views!

    Tilehurst Parish Council have extended the deadline for their survey until next month, meaning that young people, aged 11 to 18, in the Parish still have time to share their views by completing this survey.

    26 August 2021

  • Supporter Focus – 1-fix

    We are so grateful to everyone who supports us, including the fantastic 1-fix  who have recently put together information posters for us and our followers.

    26 August 2021

  • Waterside Update

    Our Summer Holiday Club Programme at the Waterside Centre in Newbury has been a huge success.

    26 August 2021

  • CEO’s Thoughts (August Newsletter)

    Welcome to our August newsletter.

    26 August 2021

International Youth Day 2021

12 August 2021

Today is International Youth Day, highlighting youth issues and celebrating the potential of young people as active partners in the global society. It’s the perfect time for us to reflect on our work with Berkshire’s young people and why it’s so important.

CEO’s Thoughts

David says: “Young people have enough choices and issues to negotiate as they transition into adulthood; good quality youth work provides the support, challenge and encouragement needed to become the best version of themselves and to avoid the medicalisation, or criminalisation they may otherwise face. Young people need safe, appropriate and relevant support to prevent the need for statutory intervention. Youth work is a tool provided by well-trained and supported professionals.”

Young People’s Views

Berkshire Youth has young people at the heart of all that we do, so we caught up with some attendees of our Waterside Centre Summer Holiday Programme to hear their thoughts. Here’s what Matilda (aged 11) and Ella (aged 13) told us.

Matilda said: “Meeting new people, getting outdoors and trying new activities is what I’ve enjoyed most about the holiday club so far.”

Ella added: “The Waterside Centre Holiday Club Programme has been a great way for me to stay active, socialise and have fun with other young people over the summer.”

Youth Worker’s Perspective

We are often asked what our youth workers do! Here’s what Kelly, our Youth and Community Manager, told us about her new role.

What’s a typical working day for you?
I’m not sure there is such a thing as a ‘typical day’ when it comes to youth work, especially when opening a newly-refurbished youth and community centre! My days at the moment are spent at the Waterside Centre, working alongside a fantastic team to deliver our summer programme for young people aged 11+, as well as planning and preparing for what will be our ongoing delivery to young people once we officially open in the autumn.

What do you find most challenging about being a youth worker?
The most challenging part of youth work is the lack of investment in preventative services and the overall undervaluing of youth work as a professional service for young people. We find ourselves in a constant battle of having to source and negotiate funding for the work that we do. This becomes a real frustration for us when every single day we spend our time engaging with young people and communities who are very clearly at risk of, or are already living in, a reality of deprivation, lack of support and missed opportunities.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
Right now, I am immensely excited about the Waterside Centre and our vision for it to become a hub within the local community and the catalyst for further youth work services across West Berkshire. We envisage that the Waterside Centre will be a space for young people to access support, engage in personal development and positive activities and build strong relationships within their community. We hope to continue developing a network of professionals who will support and complement our youth work offer. We know the value of the work that we do and the relationships that we build with young people and the wider community, so I am really keen to make sure that, as we build and develop our new offer from the Waterside Centre, we also strive to showcase the power of youth work and highlight the profession of being a youth worker.

What is your background?
I got involved in youth work over ten years ago and became a qualified youth worker in 2014. To complement my youth work practice I also recently completed my Master’s degree in SEN, Disability and Inclusive Education.

My working background has connections to outdoor education, special education and working with those with additional needs. I spent a number of years in the West Midlands where I studied and practised youth work, including delivering youth centre-based programmes in areas of high deprivation. I love travel and have also worked and volunteered all over the world from a young age; including providing children’s activities to cruises and working at summer camps in America.

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