0:02 My name’s Siobhan F I am a project coordinator for 11 to 14s project and I work for youth initiatives. We do lots of different projects from mad games nights, messy games, going on day trips, more informal education type stuff so we’re working with nearly upwards of 60 to 80 young people. They’re quite crazy.
00:30 So I started coming along to Youth Initiatives and I was a 12 year old myself and then at the age of 16 I decided to become a volunteer with 11 to 14 year olds. So that was like 11 years ago now, I was trying to work out what I wanted to do with my life and I picked A level subjects such as sociology, politics and religion and the sociology really got me going and got me thinking about society as a whole and I’d always wanted to be a teacher, I always knew somewhere that I wanted to work with young people of some description.
01:03 I enjoyed school and, there was just something in me that I don’t exactly know what it was but, I liked to learn and I liked to help people learn and so in school I would help my friends out with their homework and then I thought to myself well, if I enjoy doing this type of thing then, maybe I’ll be a good teacher. So I just always thought OK I’m gonna be a teacher.
01:29 But then when I switched to the whole youth work side of things, I enjoyed the informal education system versus the formal education system. I didn’t do very well the first time I did my A levels and I found that quite difficult because I’d always done well like I did well in my GCSEs and during my 6th year I just went off the wall and decided I can’t be an out studying anymore and there was a lot of things didn’t go my way during that summer I had applied to do a gap year, didn’t get it, applied to go back to school, wouldn’t let me back in, so eventually I decided OK I’ll apply to go to tech and in that year I grew up a lot, I had got rejected from the youth work course and then when I applied through UCAS in lower 6th, upper 6th and then I reapplied when I went to tech and I got in that year so that whole year for me I think it was all meant to be, so I think that was a major turning point in me growing up.
02:35 My dad is a plasterer, he’s in the building trade and my mum she worked before my sister was born, she was born with a disability so, it required my mum to stay at home quite a lot and look after her, so, yeah.
02:54 My dad took me and made me plaster walls as a young child and pebbledash walls but I wasn’t into that it was too cold. If, if I wanted a higher paying job I would probably end up sitting behind a desk somewhere Monday to Friday 6 to 5, and that would actually kill me internally because I don’t like being behind a desk, I like to be active and I like to be out there. So the satisfaction I get out of this job means a lot more to me than the money that I get at the end of each month.
03:25 It’s funny cos I’m a 27 year old who’s been in this type of work volunteering and full time for 11 years, and the average lifespan of a youth worker’s now about 3 years, so it’s like, in 3 years time I’ll be 30 and I’ve been doing this for nearly 15 years, can I go on any longer, I don’t know I’ll keep going as long as my heart’s still in it. You don’t want to do a job that you’re not happy in, that’s what I think.