Wednesday, 11 June 2014


Here are A Way Out we have people from all walks of life coming through the doors, and some of these are students on placement.  For the past 8 months we have hosted a placement from Sunderland University with a student studying Youth & Community Studies.  We are very sad to see her placement end with us, and we wanted to share with you her experience with you.

Tell us a bit about yourself Becky?
I am 27 years old, a mum of two children with another on the way. I qualified as a barber when I left school, and then following some of my own difficult life experiences I found I wanted to help others in similar situations, and I went back to college to help further my career development. I am now a mature student studying Community and Youth Work at Sunderland University. I originally wanted to get into Social Work, but I am so pleased that I chose this course instead. I feel it has taught me a lot more about society and myself.

When did you first hear about A Way Out?
Through the University. I was looking at options for my placement and did some research of my own on the internet. I found A Way Out and got in touch to see if it would be possible to do my placement here.

What drew you to working with us?
After speaking to the team over the phone and having our first meeting, I loved how the youth project was developing, and I knew that I would learn a lot from that, being involved with setting up new projects from the beginning.

What activities have you been involved in whilst at A Way Out?
I have been busy supporting the youth project with starting up Reload (the Thursday evening drop in), as well as attending the local primary school, supervising football and helping with additional support in reading. I’ve been helping to set up session plans for youth outreach and delivering youth sessions. We took about 13 young people on a residential which was a definite highlight for me. I’ve also been involved with developing the community hubs and helping to plan the activities for those sessions.

What are the key things that you’ll take away with you?
That love is important. That being made to feel like part of a team can really help someone's development. I’ve really learned that no matter how small you may feel something is, help or support can make a massive difference to someone else's life.

What would you say to any fellow students following in your footsteps?
Don't ever give up. Never judge someone by their appearance. Always ask for help and ask a lot of questions. I’ve learned the important skill of allowing others to show you where you have gone wrong or explain what went well in order for you to learn from that for next time, and that’s been really helpful.

What’s next for you?

At the moment I hope to finish my last year of University after having the baby in 7 weeks time! After that...I'm not really sure with regards to my career. I will have 3 small children and I want to be committed to them, so I’ll just see where life takes me and look forward to the next chapter. I will definitely still stay in touch with A Way Out continue to help and volunteer when I can.

Thank you, Becky for all you've done here at A Way Out!

Our life-changing work really couldn't continue without the help of our wonderful volunteers. Maybe you could spare a few hours a week and begin volunteering.  Your time will not only help change the lives of others, if you would like to volunteer with us here, then get in contact with Rachel, our wonderful Volunteer Coordinator. We have plenty of opportunities from just an hour a week, and are sure to find something that will suit you.

With love from A Way Out x

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