Back Page: And this is what I do - Ricky Evans, information worker,Kintyre Youth Enquiry Service

| 15 February 2006

What does your work involve? We're a charity giving 12- to 25-year-olds in Kintyre, West Scotland access to training and activities that interest them. I get groups of young people together who have a shared interest and give them what they need to run a project, working with them to plan events throughout the year. About 10 groups have been formed with our help, as well as a skatepark. We also provide advocacy for them.

What do you like about it? I like working with young people. Sometimes, it's frustrating that they can't see how important they are to a local community or how appreciated their efforts are; and it can be hard to convey that message. Often they don't recognise their self-worth.

What other frustrations are there? Occasionally, I feel as though we're spreading ourselves quite thin. When young people come in asking for advice and support, they tend to see us as everything. Although we're primarily an information shop, with information on everything from drugs to HIV, once young people are in we find they have a lot more questions to ask and want to find out more than we have available; starting up their own projects, for example.

What are the challenges? Because we're so isolated, the things that young people are interested in are probably not available, so we need to start projects from scratch. We can't call on expertise from the local community. Everything needs to start from the bare roots.

How would you like to see the service develop? I'd like it to be bigger. We work more as an office-based shop front. I'd like to develop it so that we're open at night, so that young people can come in off the streets. But it should be young person-led.

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