Introducing…our Junior Youth Work Manager, Dave Palmer.
What have you been up to during your first few weeks at Blackburn Youth Zone?
Since joining Blackburn Youth Zone in early December, I have been quite busy. I’ve been out with the rest of the team at the BYZ roadshow – evening though it was cold and wet we still had fun and met some great young people! I have been made to feel very welcome here by the Blackburn Youth Zone team, and have soon settled in. 2012 is going to be a very exciting year and I am currently starting to put the Junior programme together for when we open. I will hopefully be out and about in as many schools as I can get to in the next few weeks doing some consultations with young people.
What attracted you to the Junior Co-Ordinator role at Blackburn Youth Zone?
I was attracted to the post here at Blackburn Youth Zone for many reasons really. Firstly, I just love working with young people – no two days are ever the same and I never get a chance to get bored as young people have a way of keeping us adults on our toes!! Secondly, I am relishing the opportunity to be here for the beginning of something so new and refreshing. This is a fantastic opportunity for young people to come along and get involved, and as a member of staff its is really nice to be given a free rein on how things are run. The sky is the limit as far as I am concerned.
Tell us a little bit about your background…
I graduated from university in 2002, after 3 years studying a Sports Science degree. From there I went in to a job working for Kirklees’ Young Peoples’ Service. This involved working with young people aged 8 to 18, running holiday clubs, school sports and play sessions – and eventually setting up and managing 10 junior clubs. The next challenge I faced was managing Calderdale’s Play Service. Most recently I worked on the National Citizen Service summer programme for a charity called The Challenge… And now here I am! During my career I have been involved in all kinds of crazy projects, including huge national playday events with over 3000 people attending, caving trips with young people, hundreds of camping trips and residentials, canoeing trips, football tournaments, even walking on custard!
What sort of things have you got lined up for when we open?
I have got all kinds of fun things lined up for when we open, but rather than tell you all about it, I would prefer if you came along to one of our junior sessions and found out for yourself! …I know you wont be disappointed. I would also love to hear from you, and if you would like to request any activities, please do comment at the end of this article. I’ll keep all suggestions in mind!
What do you think Blackburn Youth Zone can do for Blackburn?
I think Blackburn Youth Zone can do great things for Blackburn. Basically we can do whatever you want us to do – we are here for young people to guide us, we are going to start out where you are and let you take us where you want to go. In other words, it is an exciting time for us all and the opportunities are pretty much limitless. We will be open 365 days a year, and a place for young people to have a voice. I, for one, cannot wait to see what we can do for Blackburn.