This accessible text explores a way of working - pioneered and developed over 22 years in a UK-wide initiative - to grow youth work by supporting individuals to train professionally, while working in community-based organizations - and, through this investment in people, to create a lasting impact within communities. Grounded in workers' personal experiences, as well as in relevant theory, it will encourage anyone who is working - directly or in partnership - with young people to look at, and develop, their own ways of working in communities. The ten chapters: include personal stories and examples; explore the experiences of community-based organizations, volunteers, part-time and full-time workers; and, provide questions for both non-specialists and experts to consider. "Journeying Together" shows how demonstrating trust in young people, valuing them, and acknowledging their rights and responsibilities enable us to involve them in community concerns. It is founded on the belief that there is good in us all.
This is the starting point that makes change possible, and is backed up by the view that: young people are members of communities - now, not at some point in the future; their voices must be heard, for the benefit of all; and, there are leaders in the making amongst them. "Journeying Together" is based on what has been learned from the 'Youth or Adult?' initiative, begun 21 years ago by The Rank Foundation with YMCA George Williams College. By supporting agencies and the professional development of workers (up to degree standard) and with additional funding streams that have grown organically around it, it has developed a network of projects that includes churches, youth cafes, creative arts projects, street work, volunteering initiatives, outdoor education, building projects and a farm - and a consistent relationship-based style of youth work that involves 'journeying together' along a path of learning. It is difficult; it is challenging. But it works. The evidence is in the impact on the individuals and agencies who are supported - and in their influence on the young people and communities with whom they engage.
"Journeying Together" encourages readers to consider what they can learn from the approach, and how they can apply it in their own youth and community work. "Journeying Together" is for: youth workers and youth work managers in local authorities and the voluntary sector; youth and community work students, lecturers and researchers; anyone involved in working in partnership with youth workers and young people in communities; and, policy makers concerned about young people and communities. "Journeying Together" is about taking a step towards young people, so as to engage with them as valuable contributors to their communities, and to offer them an opportunity - and a challenge.