Over 120 Youth Workers came together for a meeting of minds at Edgbaston Cricket Ground this week in the first of a series of events aimed at celebrating youth work and young people across Birmingham. The conference, co-hosted by the YMCA Sutton Coldfield and funded by the Big Lottery Fund, saw the launch of “Youth Works” a series of 6 conferences and award ceremonies to recognise the importance of youth work at a time when funding for youth work projects is in severe decline.
The series of events, hosted in partnership with Birmingham Youth Service, Birmingham Association of Youth Clubs (BAYC) and Laurel Road Sports and Community Centre, aims to raise the profile of youth work as a crucial service to young people; our next generation of leaders.
Delegates were inspired by motivational speaker and author Kerry Young (Show Me a Mountain, Bloomsbury, 2016) and Soo Redshaw, Lecturer and Executive Coach from Cranfield University and also had the chance to attend workshops and seminars on topics from detached youth work to mental health and self-harm.
Stephanie Patrick, Deputy CEO of YMCA Sutton Coldfield, tells us more about her big idea: “Youth Work is all about helping young people reach their full potential, something that we are very passionate about at the YMCA. We want to celebrate the inspiring work that Youth Workers do and get Youth Work firmly back on the agenda.
“As a Youth Worker through and through, I’ve witnessed the life-changing work that youth work can achieve but I’ve also seen the negative impact on young people when projects can’t afford to continue. We want to address this decline and empower Youth Workers to keep fighting for young people and for their futures.”
“Watch out for the upcoming awards ceremony in April as we will need everyone’s votes!”