This week, as part of a series of events aimed at raising awareness to safeguard young people I was one of a small team of trainers delivering messages, on a variety of topics relating to Risk and Making Safer Choices to Year 9 and 10 students at a local High School. A wonderfully diverse school with a positive vibe from both staff and students that instantly made visitors feel welcome and appreciated.
Despite the lovely atmosphere and warm welcome the sessions were as intense and thought provoking as ever – for me and for the students . My workshop on Young people and Substance can be challenging – whoever I deliver to there is often a mix of backgrounds and different levels of knowledge and understanding from attendees. Pitching at the right level while effectively addressing competing viewpoints is always a tough one – but once those views are batted back and forth the understanding and new learning you witness is always so rewarding .
There are limits to what you can offer in a 40 minute session however alongside the team from Essential Safeguarding we have , through interactive engaging and thought provoking workshops ensured that a few hundred students are definitely going out in the world more informed and more able to question and challenge what life puts into their path .
2 days and approx 450 students later I am reflecting on the seeds we planted this week and feeling pretty lucky to be doing the work that I do .We might not see the final bloom as these young people become young adults but we know we took part in planting those seeds