Posted by: nickgardham | June 8, 2011

“None of the kids around here’s got dreams…

… or if they do, they know its never gonna happen!” Resident, Beech Avenue.

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Coming to Newark for the first time, I knew that it would be a very different experience to the one I had in Bath. However, I had no idea how different.

The areas I have worked in up until now have been difficult, true, but there has always been hope for the future, dreams of something better and a motivation for change. Out and about in Newark I saw a completely different side of life. A side where kids as young as 10 felt trapped in a vicious circle of being powerless to change their circumstances.

They guys I was speaking to were called Rhys and Gary and there were 20 and 26 respectively. One is stuck in a job he would rather not do, the other on the dole. Both had trained to do something else, but had been turned down for job after job, and felt completely detached from everything else that was going on around them. And yet, using the root solution listening matters process I started to see that spark of hope again. When I asked him what he thought would tackle the problem, the resident suggested something that the kids were interested in. Listening to him further I found that he was a qualified mechanic, interested in starting his own business. Together we explored a social enterprise project around teaching young people to repair and maintain engines and motorbikes. At the end of the meeting he agreed to bring his mates together to explore this project further, and look at how to take it forward.

This is what I find so incredible about this job, that even from the depths of despair when there is no spark of hope, when someone listens, when someone tells you that your idea is possible and that you can have a say, you suddenly see that fire start to burn behind their eyes and you know that they are motivated and animated and ready to go out and make change happen.

Alexa, Community Animator

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