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Blackburn Youth Zone staff recently joined forces with volunteers, sessional staff and fulltime employees from Oldham, Carlisle and Manchester Youth Zone

Blackburn Youth Zone delivery staff recently joined forces with volunteers, sessional staff and fulltime employees from Oldham, Carlisle and Manchester Youth Zone – taking to the countryside to look at how to deliver a residential programme at a Youth Zone.

Blackburn Youth Zone Staff Go Feral

Residentials in Youth Work

Residentials are a time-honoured part of any youth work programme – offering youth workers the chance to work one-on-one with young people, to support the development of a young person, to give young people the chance to experience something new or different and to build on teamwork skills. Residentials usually take place over a weekend, somewhere offsite as to where the youth work generally takes place.

Youth Zone Residential

Oldham, Carlisle, Manchester and Blackburn Youth Zone’s last weekend sequestered themselves to a remote countryside retreat to collaborate on how to develop and deliver a residential. Blackburn Youth Zone Junior Youth Work Manager, Dave Palmer, described the weekend as a ‘chance to think about how we will all plan future residentials at Blackburn Youth Zone’.

With three action-packed days of an eclectic programme of activities – Youth Zone staff were kept exceptionally busy. With a variety of team-building activities – Blackburn Youth Zone staffers partook in nighttime orienteering, built dens and shelters, cooked food over a campfire and sampled some ‘forest crafts’, such as kazoo and wooden jewellery making.

When not living like regular forest people – Blackburn Youth Zone staff took part in a series of residential focussed workshops, developing their safeguarding and future planning skills, amongst others.

Blackburn Youth Zone Sports Coordinator, Ishmail Issat, reflected on the cammeraderie of the weekend, saying ‘it was great to share ideas, stories and various other programme ideas’. Participation & Development Manager, Leigh Culverwell, shared the same sentiment, describing the weekend ‘as a fantastic opportunity to gain an insight into other Youth Zones, what’s working and what isn’t working, to share best practise and to build some fantastic links.’