Let’s reflect on our experiences so far with youth work under lockdown and the startling change of online and digital youth work. We will learn alongside the young people we work with as our practises and ways of working change but uphold the youth principles and make sure we are keeping young people at the centre of what we do!
Working online and at home isn’t easy. Isolation from your team of volunteers and staff and even those around us isn’t something we are used to.
Youth workers are normally quite sociable people; we get a buzz of activities, discussions and debates, like many of the young people we work with. There is no denying that our work will throw many challenges at us over the upcoming weeks and months and what we are experiencing now will change the way we work in the future. The plans for digital work were not ready or meant to be realised yet but we’ve been forced to work with what we’ve got.
We will get things wrong, we will get things right. We will fail, and we will try again. Most importantly we will learn. We will learn alongside young people. And, like most countries around the globe, we will come out with new found skills and knowledge, and an appreciation for the work we do every day.
Youth work has once again shown its flexibility in an often-inflexible world. It has shown its ability to manifest into something new. These principles are what will keep us grounded in our practice, a practice that should always keep young people at the heart.