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  • Waterside’s 2nd Birthday!

    Today, we are celebrating the second anniversary of Waterside Centre reopening.

    3 August 2023

  • Duck Race

    Our friends at the Rotary Club of Reading Abbey have asked us to share news of the charity fundraising event they’re running at The Oracle on Saturday 9 September.

    31 July 2023

  • Tilehurst Youth Club

    Thank you to youth worker Jessica for this update!

    31 July 2023

  • Waterside – July 2023

    Kelly told us: “The summer months bring a range of activity to Waterside Centre.

    31 July 2023

  • The Wayz – July 2023

    A real summer of fun at The Ways; the month started brilliantly with the Community Fun Day and Bracknell Together Walk.

    31 July 2023

  • Britwell – July 2023

    Britwell Youth and Community Project’s Summer Holiday Club is running from Monday 24 July– Friday 18 August (daily Monday – Friday), 11am – 3pm.

    31 July 2023

  • Updates from our Flagship Youth Clubs

    Please click on the links below for the latest updates from our flagship youth clubs in Slough, Bracknell and Newbury.

    31 July 2023

  • Youth Development and Community Engagement Update

    The school holidays are now upon us and our summer programmes are in full swing.

    31 July 2023

  • Training News

    Here are our upcoming training courses, including posters.

    31 July 2023

  • Staff Spotlight

    In the last update, we caught up with Abbas, who was celebrating his first year of working at Berkshire Youth.

    31 July 2023

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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