It’s hard to believe that I have been a youth worker at The Link for over a year now!! I originally was only meant to be covering for a colleague for a few weeks but with people moving on to new horizons I had the opportunity to take on the role full-time.

When I first started I was very daunted by the prospect of working in a drop-in service, as I have always been based in structural roles, and learning all the different types of services that were out there to support young people and their various needs. I spent the first couple of weeks getting my head round the paperwork involved in The Link, meeting the number of young people coming through the door and the different types of needs young people may present with.

I got into the swing of things and what I found fascinating is that some of the young people who come into the drop-in may only come in once, maybe to print one thing or use the phone, and you may never see them again or you may have a young person come in who has a complex variety of needs that you may find yourself working with for nearly a year!!! But the progress you see in that young person and being part of their journey is an amazing experience. It is always nice to when young people pop back into The Link to let us know how they are getting on.

Working at The Link has made me realise what a great service it is. We treat each young person as an individual and will tailor our approach according to their needs. Within The Link team we all have our own experiences and skills that we bring to the table and that is one of the many reasons that makes it such a great team to work in, and some of the young people we meet are a true inspiration.

This year it was so nice to hear that The Link had been nominated for Best Community Project at the Believe in Gloucester Awards. We had been nominated for all of the work we have been doing with young people, especially those who were not in education, employment, or training (NEET). Although we didn’t win it was nice to be recognised for all the hard work the team at The Link had done over the year.

No day is the same at The Link and it always keeps you on your toes. It has been a long learning experience, which is still ongoing, but it has also been one of the most rewarding and I hope I will get to continue to do so for as long as possible.