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Centre Profile

Llandudno YFC

So, what’s going on with your work in schools?

We are currently involved at Ysgol John Bright which is the local secondary school in town. Apparently I am the first Christian Youth Worker to step foot inside the school - even local church ministers have found it near-impossible to get in.

I currently take 2 PSE lessons a week, looking at the issues surrounding morality with Year 10, and life after death with Year 11. The students rotate every 9 weeks so by the end of each year I get to see 50% of each year group. During the last lesson of each group I run a Q&A session where I share my testimony and allow them to grill me with their questions. They never fail to surprise me with their amazing questions and openness spirituality.

I started the Thursday lunchtime CU at the school in October 2009 with 4 young people turning up on a weekly basis. By April 2010, the CU had outgrown the room so the school allowed me to split the CU so that the younger ones continued to come on a Thursday while the older ones had their own session on a Wednesday. At the last CU of term we had over 60 students at the Thursday lunchtime CU and are now having to re-think again for the start of September. We are excited to see what happens next!

I also take street dance workshops with the Duke of Edinburgh students (Years 10-13) as an after-school club every week which has been a real success.

What lessons have you learnt?

To always make myself available to the school and they in return cannot do enough to help us as an organisation.

To make use of every opportunity. Even if the school ask me to do things that take me out of my comfort zone - do it!! That way, it's another foot in the door (so to speak) and you can slowly reveal your gifts so that they recognise and make use of them. Then you end up doing what you wanted to start doing in the first place.

That there is a fine line between being a teacher and youth worker, and it's important to find the balance so that you remain 'fun' whilst maintaining the students' respect. I don't want the young people to think they can walk all over me in school because I'm too laid back but likewise, don't want them arriving at Reverb (our drop-in centre) and treating me like a teacher.

To always expect the unexpected. Young people will always try to shock you (especially in Q&A sessions) so always mention the word SEX before they do.

And what’s next in the pipeline?

We would like to get into Ysgol Creuddyn, the secondary school just outside of town, but need a Welsh-speaking youth worker to do this as the school is first language Welsh. We are praying for the right candidate to come on board with Llandudno YFC to open up these opportunities... so watch this space!!

Watch Sophie in action at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNuNX4y4GhU

Contact Details: Centre Director Sophie Ponsford on sophie@llandudno-yfc.co.uk. To find out more, visit www.llandudno-yfc.co.uk.