Youth off the Streets – Inspired

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Just before Christmas I was contacted by the Youth Engagement Officer of my Local Council.  They have started a new “youth off the streets” initiative which seeks to encourage the local youth to use their evenings in a productive and social way, rather than some of the negative pasttimes that have emerged of late.  I was asked to present some drama workshops and was very excited to be given the chance to be  involved in such a valuable initiative that truly aims to better our society and contributes to shaping and nurturing socially aware and responsible teens.

So my first night arrived and I was a little apprehensive, as I really didn’t know what to expect when I walked through the doors! I greeted the admin assistant and made my way to the room and wait… and wait…. 6:30pm (the start time) came and went and still no-one had arrived!! The Youth Engagement Officer arrived and was as shocked as me at the lack of attendance as he had handed out the allocated number of forms and the idea of our Helen O’Grady Drama Workshops had been very well received. Then one lone student arrived 10 minutes late with Mum  in tow, and our Officer cleared out the drop in centre so we were able to begin.

I ended up with five teenagers, who were as cool as cucumbers and showed a beautiful raw energy as they became engaged in the activities of my workshop. As the hour progressed, they shed their “attitude” and finely crafted veneer, to reveal the energetic and creative beings that they are. Labels aside, these teens enjoyed the work, absorbed the advice and beamed as they were praised.

This brought me back to why I love our self development programme. At the end of the day, regardless of what else may be happening in their lives,  kids with a ‘cool’ demeanour, are just that –  kids, who need to be creative, to be free to express themselves and to be reminded of their worth.


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