When I was 11 years old the church I had grown up in in Winchester (U.K.), Christchurch, appointed a youth worker. God, and this good man, his wife, and the many wonderful volunteers and the wider community of the church changed my life forever. So significant was his influence in my life that he gave me away at my wedding. So when I got to university to study drama and film and discovered not all churches have amazing youth workers and brilliant youth work I was compelled to get involved! Thankfully my vicar didn’t listen when I told him I probably didn’t need any training….! And there began my journey into youth work and ministry – with the awesome heritage of good youth work in my own personal experience, and some wonderfully supportive and understanding people around me and of course the grace of God in abundance.
I trained as a youth worker with Oasis College and have a First Class Honours Degree in Youth Work and Ministry. Through study and placements in churches and different community contexts I gained much knowledge and experience that helped me enormously through the following 12 years of youth work practice.
The reflective thinking I learnt in training and practised in the workplace led me to continue my professional development through further reading and writing for youth work publications such as Premier Youth Work Magazine, Grove books, and other youth work resources like Roots, and the Premier Youth Work Blog.
I also spoke about the work of School Pastors in 2012 at a conference for 1000 youth workers – Youth Work Summit – which was exciting and nerve wracking but in the end a great experience! To watch my talk click below.
All the opportunities and challenges I have been given have helped me learn and progress my thinking regarding youth work and ministry, schools work and at a wider level, how individuals, communities and countries can be enabled to reach their full potential. I’ve always been intrigued to see what realising my own potential might look like, watch this space for future progress!