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A day in the life of Judy, Youth Worker

Wednesday 1st November 2023

Last night I finished work at 9:30pm returning to the freezing cold and very wet Timsbury session. Hero had come dressed to work yesterday as Rob which was a piece of pure comedic genius! Rob came dressed as a bear carrying himself which did freak out the newbie at Project 28 – it was only her second day. I spent the day questioning my life choices about why I am not wearing any fancy dress at Halloween. At Timsbury Rob handed out sweets to the locals and Jess as I supervised him. It was wet and cold, we popped up a new Gazebo with much challenge and then when it came to put the gazebo down; it leaked onto my head.


Every morning at 8am I wake up to the joyous noise of Radio 1 which always puts me in a good mood as I am NOT a morning person. I regret mornings every day and persuade myself that I need only 25 minutes to get ready (when I really need 35). I sort myself and my face out; have no idea where the husband is and rush out the house for 9.05am!

I have worked out that it takes me 45 minutes in good traffic to get to Bath; especially if I rush down country lanes. I definitely don’t ever speed as my dash cam will attest.

I have a meeting for the night time economy in Bath at 10am in one of the many pubs in Bath and just as I arrive in Bath the radio guy declares that it's cowboy time and today they have a Glen to sing the song. (cowboy time is Ten to Ten); after singing the ten-to-ten song along with Gleg and whoever else is unreasonably committed to the radio in the mornings I pull up, park and rush to the meeting (definitely not late).


At the meeting we have a brief all about the Bath Christmas Market which fills me with JOY! I love Christmas, Christmas is in my soul, and I also love shopping. Listening to the frightening amount of tourists they’re expecting in and the amount of toilets that Bath needs is interesting, I begin to think about the detached team and how they will be affected by the Christmas market. (They will probably love the Christmas vibes too; who doesn’t?!)


I walk slowly through the Bath City Centre back to the City Centre Youth Space and thankfully no one else is in yet; so I get some work done. Currently writing our quarterly report (which again is definitely not late).


Jane G is here to run her drop in; the CCYS is getting busier now. Joyful Jayne comes in and we do Supervision, and we chat about everything. I have an awful habit of chatting which is never ending and so Jayne must work with me to keep me on track. One day I will be able to pay full attention to the task at hand, but that day is NOT today.

After supervision I have to check in on our wonderful team; Ian, Hero and Macey. All of our teams are worth their weight in GOLD (especially those who do youth work in the city centre as God himself has declared that Bath City Centre is the best place to work, and youth work is the best job).


I need to get ready for sessions tonight, I check my plans and write my session sheets; Wednesdays are very long sometimes. I pop out to that brilliant new Morrisons in Bath to get resources for sessions.


The Galdem young women have arrived! I am so pleased they are here; they tell me all about their week and I got them a pizza because they won an award as a group, but we can’t take them all to the awards ceremony. The young women’s antics are hilarious, and we work through a bunch of topics around relationships, social media, awful teachers and good teachers, and remembering all of the times they annoyed me at our weekend away in March. (They love reminding me about that, kind of them to make sure I don’t forget the three times they set off the fire alarm claiming it was the shower when really it was vaping.) Macey who completed this session with me is thoroughly worried about ever doing a residential overnight (who could blame her!)


I have to say goodbye to the young women, write up, tidy up, hoover and then hop, skip, run to my car; head to Sainsburys Odd Down and pick up more water and resources for the next session.


I am in Foxhill – tonight it's me and Joe S. It's very dark in Springfield Park and tonight thankfully it is not as wet. We have some massive builders’ lights now so we can see what we are doing and who we are talking too.  When out in the cold I make sure I wear snow boots, hat, scarf and gloves and our trusty youth work coat. In Foxhill we are met with a few teenagers who want to hang with us on the benches and chat about all kinds of things again. We discuss school, mental health, other services on offer, what happens if you throw a pancake at a teacher, and we notice the bats in Springfield Park. We make marshmallow smores on the camping stove and I convince the teens that they should get into music with us at Sound Crafter as they are singing at the top of their lungs to Billie Eilish, Doja Cat and Taylor Swift absolute tunes (which Joe happens to hate).


It is time to review the paperwork for the session – Joe and I do this as quickly as possible as if we stall our fingers will fall off in the cold. We tidy and make our notes to leave at about 9:20pm.

On the way home I listened to an audiobook called Cut Short by Cerian Thapar; it's pretty good and this guy Tony (who is a youth work manager in London) has just told Cerian that there is no such thing as an expert and if there were, it definitely wouldn't be him. I laughed at Tony's part but also thought that it was some very good advice!


I walk in the door tired and Jason is full of boring bus stories (don’t tell him I said they are boring because he will be offended, but they are dull AF) and I force the rabbit to give me hugs in exchange for little treats. I check all the muted group chats on my phone and scan them and then doom scroll a mix of TikTok; Facebook, Insta and more recently LinkedIn. I ensure that I tell Jason about cowboy time with Glen because it's important, he makes his eye-rolls and I spend quite a bit of time not listening very well to him talk about his car.


I really should think about going to bed. Jason convinces me I actually would rather be cosy in bed and so I agree and then as soon as my head hits the pillow, I am dead to the world.


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