Using Stories in Warwick to make the Youth Work case

Over the last few months the Warwick Workers’Forum, inspired by its involvement in an IDYW Story-Telling workshop and supported by Bernard Davies, has been working on its own collection of Stories in Practice. The process has now come to fruition and the Forum has produced an attractive and compelling booklet, ‘Youth Work Stories’. The intention is to use the booklet as a campaigning tool with both politicians and the wider community.

Ta to Jethro Brice from the original IDYW Stories book

storiesbookfinal – download the pdf via this link.

The booklet begins,

These youth work stories are just a small number of examples of the challenging but ultimately beneficial work that youth workers from Warwick District have delivered. They have been compiled because nationally and locally youth work practice is vanishing.

We want community members, decision makers and influencers to hear these stories so that they can better understand why youth work is so important and so this decline can be halted.
Youth work makes a difference. It changes lives. The way it achieves such success is often
shrouded in mystery and the profession can go unrecognised. Youth workers themselves can find it difficult to promote and celebrate their achievements and the uniqueness of youth work. This needs to change; society should recognise the value and its
Youth workers take time to build relationships of mutual trust and support with young people, working in their communities, helping them make their own decisions about their own lives, and developing their confidence and resilience.
They work where young people are – in schools, youth and community centres, at home or in the park, offering informal education opportunities starting from young people’s concerns and needs.
Nationally thousands of youth worker posts have disappeared and local government spending on young people’s services has on average decreased by 25%.

The booklet contains 10 stories preceded by an introductory context provided by Bernard Davies. As we go to press the Forum is beginning to formulate its strategy for using the booklet in conversations with councillors at a county, district, town and parish level. We look forward to hearing about how its initiative unfolds and hope it will inspire workers elsewhere to explore how to use narrative as a weapon of resistance, of both defence and offence.

We’ll put a permanent link to the pdf in the sidebar.

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