I had the best childhood and my Mum taught me everything I know. She taught me how to be fun and silly, and to be independent and confident. Mum taught me how to be kind and to care. My Mum was my biggest cheerleader, always pushing me to get my “cap and gown” moment and to own it. I did.

I’ve had many different jobs over the years, from a butcher’s assistant to a bar maid, a cleaner and a retail manager. The one thing they all have in common is people; I love working with other people.

My Mum has always been my biggest inspiration, but not everyone grows up with a parent as their cheerleader, so I thought, why don’t I be a cheerleader?

In my role at YMCA Sutton Coldfield, I manage and organise, I delegate and sort, but most importantly I work with young people. I listen to their stories, I laugh with them, I celebrate with them and occasionally, I commiserate with them. I support them when they need it most, and cheer them on when they are amazing, which is almost always! I have the best job, and it doesn’t feel like work. 

Being a youth worker is rewarding. I have had the opportunity and pleasure of watching young people grow into these amazing young adults, pouring with confidence and self-esteem, achieving their goals and setting themselves new challenges. I feel privileged to be a part of their journey. They have taught me a few things along the way too.

Youth work isn’t just about playing pool; we help change lives, even in the smallest of ways.

My Mum has always been my biggest inspiration, but not everyone grows up with a parent as their cheerleader, so I thought, why don’t I be a cheerleader?

Kirsty, Project Manager