Dave is an outstanding youth worker with a love for working with young people which began at the age of 17, when he became a peer mentor within his local church. Dave's passion for youth work became a real heart driven goal to pursue as life's vocation after studying performing arts at college, he spent a few years volunteering for different youth organisations, after which he took a year out with Youth for Christ in 1998, which only confirmed Dave's vocation of becoming a professional youth worker, which led him to gain a degree, with a professional JNC.
Dave grew up on a North London council estate and then spent many years working in Leicester, a very diverse and multicultural city where he headed up large teams of volunteers in different areas of the city, areas which were socio-economically deprived, dealing with poor housing, alcohol, drugs, teenage pregnancies, violence, prostitution and much more, all which can bring a variety of challenges when providing help and support. This type of work requires constant evaluation and flexibility, ensuring effectiveness, all of which Dave embraced, witnessing the transformation in the lives of young people, families and positive changes in communities through the provisions provided.
Dave is a unqiue relational youth worker, having a gifted ability to relate and interact with all young people, Dave's particular strengths are working with young people that are socially excluded and those that have difficulty in engaging within society and the provisions available. Dave continually aims to invest in the lives of young people, having worked with charities in the UK & Abroad, Dave embraces the diversity of young people, with a focus on proverty and deprivation, his aim is to be a voice for young people, being an advocate for them.
Dave's vast experience of 22 years working with young people, especially through partnership and multi-agency work, has really shaped Dave into a realist and connective youth worker, with a well rounded perspective with optimistic approaches.
Aswell as leading teams and training volunteers, Dave currently conducts lessons in secondary schools, addressing intergration concerns, sexual health, self-esteem, challenging behaviour along with pastoral care. Dave has in the past provided holiday clubs and residential trips, but his heart is for rural and urban street detach projects, working alongside youth clubs and drop-ins. Having had experience in creative groups aswell as coaching a variety of sports, Dave understands the importance of catering for the needs of young people, effective youth work is being relevent, not just running with a good idea. Dave spent 5 years working with Kent County Council, supporting local detach work and schools work. Community work is part of Dave's personal life too, having transformed a local park into a vibrant space having gained funding of £163,000.
The ability to encourage and motivate teams is a strength of Dave's, having experience in training staff, leading teams and with a vast knowledge of safe guarding systems, this really enables Dave to collaborate effective teams and produce high levels of services for young people. Dave spent 8 years working within a local church in the coastal town of Folkestone, during which he personally secured over £24,000 to enhance the work, buy equipment and give a variety of opportunities to young people in the local area, as part of a vast youth program within the charity, one project was a weekly youth club for 11-16 years, which a local councillor stated 'one of the best youth clubs in Shepway.'
Having worked closely with social services over recent years, Dave has a clearier perspective on systems that not only work with young people, but their families too. Dave understands the huge benefits in supporting the family as a whole unit where possible.
Dave's love for youth work is founded in his love of helping others part of his Christian faith, helping those young individuals with self-esteem issues, those that find themselves in difficult or vulnerable situations, on the fringes of society, also young people that have been discarded, suffering from emotional, behavioural and spiritual concerns, a love that continues to be fuelled.
Dave specialises in producing safe and inclusive youth provision in the form of youth clubs and drop-ins with the foundation of equality, allowing young people to access and engage with services, have fun and connect with peers and other youth workers that will invest in them, in conjuction with effective connective community detach work.
Dave has a real heart to see young people's lives transformed and communities strong enough to help support young people in a positive way. Like any living thing, it requires attention, care and nourishment. Dave and his team aims to provide that through 'ground work' meeting young people on the streets, in the places which society has pushed them out into, encouraging and lifting up with the goal of them interacting with services that are able to support them, directing them to the correct facilities that will invest and cater for their specific needs.
Dave's outstanding ability to relate, being relevant and realistic with young people really defines him as a unqiue youth worker, with an honest and supportive approach, Dave is an approachable and recognised part of the community, he loves working in the area in which he lives, Folkestone.
A word from Dave:
I love being a youth worker, I feel very blessed to have & continue to work with some amazing volunteers, colleagues and young people over the last 22 years, I love the challenges and seeing the positive affect youth services can have on the lives of young people. I firmly believe that investment in young people is a fundamental role of the local community; we need to support families, through honest and flexible approaches, providing intervention and services when needed. It's so important to encourage and guide young people, there are so many distractions in today's society, as a youth worker my aim is to simply 'be there', making a positive change where needed. Youth work is exciting, it's ever changing, the ability to adapt and continually learn is so important, the best part of my job is working with young people, another is being told that what I do makes a real difference, seeing that difference makes me even more thankful.