Blog: Ann-Marie Lawson 2013 Youth Worker Award winner

20 Oct 2014

I believe in youth work, it’s that simple!  If we want to develop our children and young people to be the best that they can be then youth work plays as important part in that development as formal education, sport, modern languages and the arts.  A good youth worker is a valued role model, who can help a young person raise their aspirations by using youth work practices and principles that put the young person at the core of every conversation or piece of work that takes place.

In a time when our profession is being undervalued in many arenas, I believe it is more important than ever to shout from the rooftops the benefits of excellence in youth work.  The NYA Youth Work Awards are an ideal platform from which to do that from.

When I was shortlisted for the award last year I felt very humble as I am only one of the many youth workers in the country doing a good job often in difficult times and often on a shoestring budget.  Youth workers do not choose this career path for financial gain, they choose it because they believe in young people and know that young people are our future.  I work with an amazing team of youth workers who inspire me in the true meaning of the word.  When I spend time with them I feel invigorated and animated and I know their enthusiasm encourages the young people they work with to feel the same.

I hope that the NYA Awards continue so that we can collectively value the work we do and together shout from the rooftops that we change young people for the better, we are agents of social change and embrace the fact that change is, in fact, the only constant!