Photography Challenge – Community, Subject 3

I set myself a new challenge as part of my ROW80 goals for this round, the challenge was:

Photography – Approach 1 stranger, photograph them and blog about it – another challenge, to get me out of the house and meeting people – should be interesting! hopefully one a week, but not sure yet – still a new idea!

Now that I have my theme ‘Community’ I am heading out each week to find someone new to photograph and write about, here is this weeks subject…

I know I missed posting my subject earlier this week (I normally post on Tuesday) but those of you who follow me regularly will know why that was, I have still been going out and collecting subjects, so without further ado I introduce you to subject 3…

This is Kayleigh who I met when I went to visit a local community project Your Ideas Redditch.

I will be writing a separate post about the project shortly, but for now I will just share that is it a community project with a key focus on youth work. There are a variety of groups which use the centre including an art group, autism group and an ‘over 50’s’ group.

Kayleigh works full-time at the project and writes the blog for the centre which you can read here.

Before she started at Your Ideas as a youth worker Kayleigh tried a few different other roles but it wasn’t until she started at Your Ideas two years ago that she found her true calling.

Growing up in Redditch herself she finds she is able to identify with many of the young people’s thoughts and experiences of the town, she loves the diversity of the project and the people she meets.

There is a real sense of belonging and community within the organisation. Kayleigh thinks the work she and the team do is purposeful and she feels valued as part of the staff team and “part of something special”.  Those feelings are echoed in the way Kayleigh describes that it ‘doesn’t feel like work’ instead likening her role to being part of a big family and with all the crazy fun that goes on in the centre she says:

“I love coming here, it makes me feel sane”

Given the diverse mix of young people that attend the centre Kayleigh feels proud that there is ‘no bullying and no peacocking’ amongst the young people and real show of generosity when they support each other and even help out with other groups. When the young people are too ‘old’ to attend their former group they don’t just vanish, but come back to help out and just ‘be’ part of the project still.

Kayleigh went to University on a Youth and Community course but found that it wasn’t what she wanted and that she has learnt far more by coming to Your Ideas than she ever would have done on the course. The whole ethos of the centre and the holistic approach they have really engages young people.

One of the biggest challenges Kayleigh and the staff of Your Ideas have to deal with is battles for funding and dealing with people who don’t see the value of the work the project does, be they potential funders or other members of the local community.

If you are interested in finding out more about the work of Your Ideas Redditch you can:

Or better still if you live in Redditch why not pop down and say hi, you will be made to feel very welcome! If you have a few hours to spare you could even volunteer to help out at one of the group sessions!


11 comments on “Photography Challenge – Community, Subject 3

    • Thanks Kimberley, it takes a lot of confidence (something I don’t have, so a *real* challenge!) to just stop strangers and talk to them, let alone ask to photograph them and write about them! But at the same time it is great fun, you can meet some wonderful people and every story is an interesting one, even if they subject doesn’t even think they are interesting! Next time, take a deep breathe and just go up to that guy and tell him you admire his workout, I’m sure a great conversation will develop! 😀

  1. I love that youth work is still going on. I know that a lot of the services around Stockport were disbanded because they were sorely undervalued. It’s a shame because the work really was such a good thing for young people and the community. Even just offering a place for young people to hang out that was safe has to be a good thing?

    When I was doing my youth work, we used to do lots of issue-based work, residentials and accredited work to keep the young people involved and engaging in productive activities. It’s such a shame that a lot of these things aren’t available anymore.

    • Yeah, it’s much the same up here most of the youth services have become unsustainable due to lack of funding. Those that remain run pretty much hand to mouth not knowing it they will still be open in even a month’s time. It’s such a shame that the government don’t invest in these things more as they are so beneficial to the whole community, not just the young people that attend!

  2. I didn’t do much work with the adult teams though I know they were involved in mother and baby groups for young mums, victim support and other such things.

    I don’t doubt though that it was the issue-based work in the area, going into schools and offering a more relaxed way of approaching sensitive issues such as contraception and STIs that helped to reduce the pregnancy rate for young people and there were more people coming forward to be tested for STIs. I wouldn’t be surprised if those figures are massively different to what they were a couple of years ago now though as most the centres closed down then.

    • Yeah I can see how the lose of the issue based work could have an impact, such things are still not covered well enough and in a way that young people want to listen to in schools without outside help.

    • You are most welcome, I had a great time and will be sure to return for some of the group sessions when I can 🙂 You did fine,I did put you on the spot a bit! lol

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