I first stumbled upon Phase when I couldn’t find a placement anywhere else. Little did I know God had it all planned.
Hi, I’m Gaby and I’m on placement at Phase! As part of my psychology university course, I am required to do a month’s worth of work experience and I chose to do youth work. I’ve always admired youth work and always wondered if that’s what I wanted to do when I graduated. So this placement was the perfect opportunity to try it out and see if that’s my scene. Here are a few things that I learned while working with Phase:
Youth workers deserve Nobel Prizes
As this is my first time working closely with a youth organisation, I had a lot of questions on my first week. The more I asked, the more I found out, the more I thought youth workers deserve Nobel prizes. The reason I say this is because they have to deal with so many things such as caring about young people in ways no one has ever cared before, and still take care of themselves and their own mental health. This sounds easy but when you work with such deep and touchy topics it is often hard to keep hopeful and emotionally healthy amid all the information and emotion you’re getting from young people. Not to mention the little recognition youth workers get from society. It’s essentially like being a doctor or nurse except you’re caring about people in another way, and you get way less money.
Their work is vital
Finding out what exactly Phase gets up to made me realise that what they do is essential for one’s survival. I found myself wondering how I didn’t have an organisation like Phase when I was growing up and still managed to be half a decent person. Then it made me think that I was lucky enough to have a happy childhood with parents that provided emotional security. But what about the kids who aren’t as lucky as me? How are they meant to learn about resilience, work ethic, relationships, mental health and life opportunities? Who is telling them that they have everything they need to achieve their goals within them? Who is telling them their worth? All these questions just made me even more passionate about becoming a youth worker. I think every school should have access to an organisation like Phase, and when that happens that’s when the world will truly change.
The Phase team is the most selfless group of people I have ever met.
So I grew up in a churchy environment. I went to church all my life and still am. But the thing with most churches is that they tend to only care about people. And that’s great don’t get me wrong. But the Phase team have taught me things about, not only young people but, the environment. Most of the team doesn’t even use plastic anymore, or buy stuff at the supermarket because it’s imported so they get it from British farms. I have a bird phobia, so I don’t really care about birds. Sounds bad but oh well. Once some baby birds were abandoned by their mum in front of the Phase office, and I didn’t think much of it. But these people would talk about it everyday and feel sorry for them and give them water. I was genuinely taken aback by their selflessness because, I mean, it’s a bird. Unfortunately, after a couple of weeks the birds died… in case you want to know.
Less is more
Being at Phase has also taught me the art of simplicity. Quality over quantity. Phase is a small team. Yes they want to grow, but do they? The relationship they have with the Hitchin schools is so special that if they try to take over the world it just wouldn’t feel as personal and intimate. And that’s a skill, that’s an art, that’s a good thing. I think we tend to dream so big especially as young people but what we don’t realise is that there is beauty in simplicity. Jesus was a simple man. And he still managed to save the world. I hope that the future world leaders are being educated by Phase right now. Because that will be a promising world.
Integrity is the most honourable quality one can have. Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching, even if no one will ever notice or know. It’s more than being a ‘good’ person. It’s about being ethical and having morals. In this day and age it is so hard to keep your heart pure and so easy to go astray. It’s so easy to pursue money and let the love for money blind you until you lose sight of what truly matters: people. What the new generation needs at this point in time are role models. And who better than the Phase team? Who better than people who dedicate their lives to invest in the next generation? People who genuinely, truly care and believe in said generation. People who have so much integrity that they make me question my own life choices.
In conclusion, working with Phase has opened my eyes and now I really have my heart set on being a youth worker. It has made me a better person, just by simply hanging out with the team. It’s helped me put things into perspective and focus on what really matters. It’s made me more conscious about my own ways of living. It’s educated me on how youth go through so much more than I ever knew. And finally, it’s given me hope for the future knowing that people like the Phase team exist.