23 July 2012.
My first week here was a crazy one. I was dropped into the deep end. 5 days of team building activities with each tutor group of year 7s. At first I was a little nervous; not knowing any of the kids or teachers and being expected to act as a leader. To begin with I was pretty rubbish at being a leader but as the hours wore on I got slowly better. All in all, the week was great! It was long and for someone who had never done a week of work before in his life, this was exhausting!
The next big thing that happened was the slum survivor event. After weeks of planning, hoarding cardboard boxes and getting sponsors, Vicki, Tony Lane and myself waited in the Church for the arrival of the young people who had signed up. Their first task, after being assigned slum families and money, was to grab cardboard and polythene from our makeshift dump and create their living quarters for the event. Food for the night was warm rice and an optional (expensive) sauce. The breakfast in the morning, after a long night of sleeping on cardboard, was the same thing but cold. All in all, it was a fantastic event and much fun was had. In the end we raised around £300.
Something that has now come to an end is the ‘ Film, faith and photography ‘after school club that Vicki runs. I was privileged enough to be a leader for this and it was a brilliant thing to be a part of. I really loved seeing what the kids could do with a camera (with a little help from Vicki). I think my favourite thing about it was seeing how determined they could be when they had an idea in their head. Invariably that idea would be a fantastically creative idea and the end product was of a very high quality due to the pure determination that went into it.
Not long before Christmas we held a Youth Open Mic night in Square Corner. After spending the afternoon setting up the hoards of equipment we borrowed, the young people started to turn up. We had a mixture of acts; from piano solos, to a muse cover. We even had someone play the Ukulele! It was so encouraging to see everyone's talent and to see everyone else appreciating them.
Something that I have been running is our Sunday night youth group. We meet in Square Corner of a Sunday night, have some worship together and then hear a talk about a subject and discuss what we think about it. From Christmas to Easter we had talks around the theme of worship. Worship is something that I am passionate about and so I wanted to share that passion with the young people. The theme from after Easter has been “Famous Christians”. We have been looking at famous Christians people who have done inspiring things and looking for ways that we can be inspired to do things. For instance, we looked at Kaká, the Brazilian football player and how he is not afraid of sharing his faith with thousands of people, even on public TV! I have really enjoyed being a part of that group and sharing some of my personal views on things as well as sharing my passion for the Bible.
Which brings me to the my next step! I have recently applied for a degree course at Moorlands Bible College. I really want to get into the Bible and what it means. As an interesting twist, I have recently discovered a passion to learn New Testament Greek and Old Testament Hebrew. This is because the original languages that the Bible was written are not only more beautiful than English but also, more elaborate. This means that, where the English has one word to mean many things (like Love),in Greek it has many! This makes the Bible even more exciting to me and I really look forward to the possibility of studying it in detail!
The time has now come for me to thank people. First off, I would like to thank Vicki for putting up with me for a year. If you ask her, she will tell you how annoying I can be at times. I also want to thank Selina for keeping my focused. I haven't always been the best trainee but you have taught me many things that I will keep with me forever. I'd like to thank Tim Boxer, my Mentor, for being there for me when I needed you most. I'd like to thank Jeff and Karen Green for letting my live in their house and eat their food. They have become like second parents to me and I have enjoyed every hour of with them. Most of all, I'd like to thank each and every young person I have come to know over this year. You have made my work here worth it. Without you guys I'd have nothing to do!
Peter Dawkins Trainee Youth Worker in Uffculme
September 2012 – July 2013
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