Project Co-ordinator
Belfast Youth Initiatives

Project Co-ordinator
Belfast Youth Initiatives

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Siobhan F

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.

Siobhan F is a project coordinator for projects involving 11-14 year olds. She describes it as "lots of different projects from mad games nights, messy games, going on day trips, more informal education type stuff". She started volunteering at Youth Initiatives at 16 after having attended the youth projects herself and has now worked there for 11 years.

More information about Youth and community workers

average salary

The UK average salary is £28,758

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

26%  male 
74%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future Employment

Future employment?

? Youth and community workers provide support to individuals or groups of individuals through a range of activities or services that aim to encourage participation in social and community life and promote personal and social development.
There are no formal academic entry requirements though a minimum age for appointment between 18 and 21 normally applies. Most qualified youth workers possess an accredited diploma in higher education or postgraduate diploma in youth and community work. A majority of qualifying courses are for people aged over 21 years of age. Background checks including a CRB check are likely to be required.
  • Organises social, recreational and educational activities in local community and youth groups;
  • Undertakes the day-to-day running of community centres and supervises the activities of part-time and voluntary workers;
  • Liaises and supports voluntary workers running groups in village halls, churches, mosques and other places of worship;
  • Advises individuals with particular needs or problems through informal discussion, individual counselling or formal group discussion;
  • Helps set up credit unions, encourages parents to establish playgroups, works with other groups to find solutions to shared concerns or problems.
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Social work 29743
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Education 2785
Veterinary 1500
Sport & recreation 1434
Employment status
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