I first got involved with The Street by attending a training course on basic youth work skills. On the course I received practical qualifications such as first aid, fire safety and food hygiene but I also learnt about youth work issues such as safeguarding, conflict resolution, mental health and drink and drug abuse. The course also included sessions about planning events and providing art activities.
I found that the project had a very inspiring vision and ethos and was keen to get more involved. I suggested that running a green grocers in Lostwithiel might be a good way to provide young people with employment given that there seemed to be a gap in the market locally. The idea was greeted with great enthusiasm and encouragement and although we weren’t in a position to open a green grocers, we started running a veg box scheme. The long term goal was to get young people growing the fruit and vegetables alongside running the business so that there were a variety of activities that would interest different young people. The experience was quite challenging because it put me out of my comfort zone but I learnt a lot about the challenges of setting up a business such as finding customers, making a profit and the bureaucracy involved. The lead youth worker at The Street also found me my current part time job which I was very grateful for and has been brilliant in building my confidence and allowing me to go on to other things.
Working for The Street was certainly never dull. One minute I would be in the office and the next I would be talking to a young person in a school or on the street or planting apple trees or building a flower bed. The project is also dedicated to creating a positive working environment and to this end there was never a shortage of bad jokes (which none the less made me laugh).