Recently we sat down with our Senior Youth Workers, Jonny Luke and Lizzie Brown, to find out what Inspires them in Youth Work, and how working with Dreamscheme provides a unique and motivational environment where they can help transform young people.
This or That?
McDonald's or Burger King?
Lizzie - McDonald's
Jonny - Pizza Hut
Movie in the House or Movie in the Cinema?
Lizzie - Movie in the house
Jonny - Movie in the Cinema
Black or White?
Lizzie - Black
Jonny - Grey
Simpsons or Family Guy?
Lizzie - Simpsons
Jonny - Simpsons
Sitting Down with our Seniors
How did you First Become Involved with Dreamscheme?
Lizzie - "I first knew of Dreamscheme when it started in the Braniel and my son got involved. I have volunteered for Dreamscheme for many years, often when they needed extra help. In August 2017, I started a full time post with Dreamscheme as a Senior Leader. So I guess you could say that I have really progressed up through the ranks here–and I have loved every second!"
Jonny - "I started working for Dreamscheme 3 years ago. It’s funny that when I first saw the job posted I didn’t go for it as I wasn’t sure, but then a month or two later when it was reposted I thought, ‘Why not, maybe it’s meant to be’. From then, I haven’t looked back and it was definitely the right decision."
What Motivates you to do Youth Work?
Lizzie - "I have a real passion for young people–for engaging with them and helping them make positive choices. The opportunity to make a difference in their lives is what inspires me on a daily basis. It is really heart-warming to help them to grow and to see them learn. No two days are the same here in Dreamscheme and the variety is really refreshing.
Jonny - "I started doing youth work as a volunteer about 9 years ago when one of my youth workers at the time got me along to help. I really enjoyed it and stuck at it - I must admit I never thought that I would do it as a career but, hey, here I am doing it full time now!"
"Youth work is challenging and diverse in it’s work and I enjoyed working with young people - helping them to ‘be more’ than what they think they can be and what others think they can achieve. I guess seeing young people achieve and go on a journey to unlock their own potential is what motivates me. A lot of young people don’t get good role models in their lives so that motivates me to try and be one for them. Plus the trips and wearing shorts in warm weather to work is pretty neat!"
What is Your Favourite Thing About Working in Dreamscheme and Why?
Lizzie - "I love having two keys areas and getting to know the estates and the people who live in those communities. Since starting in Milltown, I have had the pleasure of getting to know the people who live there, including the parents of our young people. Being able to collaborate on events alongside the different organisations in the estates means we can connect with the local community and really make ourselves known. This really does make it easier to make the difference in the community."
Jonny - "The young people and staff - no brainer. Why? I have a great team around me at DS and have had some super people past and present who share a similar motivation and heart for young people and communities. The young people at Dreamscheme are brilliant ‘banter’ and are all very different and unique. At times they can be frustrating, of course, but really when I look back I have so many great memories!"
What Makes Dreamscheme Unique?
Lizzie - "Dreamscheme is unique because it gets involved with the young people in local communities with a work=points=trip system. That model is something that you just don't see in other youth organisations, and so to have it here allows us to encourage the young people to participate in positive work, and gives them a sense of reward when we go on a big trip at the end of a project!"
Jonny - "Hard question - but I guess what makes us unique is that we are willing to work all year round (sometimes 24/7!) and serve any young person with a compassionate heart, supporting them right where where they are at in their life. We are there for them in their communities and schools. We aren’t simply a youth club but provide loads of opportunities for young people to learn new life skills, connect with friends and new people and then to serve their own community back. Oh, and we run some pretty sweet trips!"
So as you can tell by this short interview, our senior leaders are full of passion and desire when it comes to unlocking the potential of our young people.
If, after reading this, you feel that you share a similar passion for working with young people, don't hesitate to get in contact with one of our members of staff, or go to our "volunteer" section.
David Magill, Intern