This week marks Youth Work Week and the theme for this year’s celebrations is ‘Champions of Youth Work’.
Kayleigh Jackson, the Tigers Trust’s Social Inclusion Manager, is very much a ‘Champion of Youth Work’.
Her first association with ourselves came as a participant in 1996 when staff from the Trust – then known as Football in the Community – delivered sports sessions at her primary school.
Despite admitting that she wasn’t the best behaved in school and was often “up to no good”, Kayleigh’s two-week work experience with the Trust in Year 11 gave her a chance to see the impact we are able to make for the health and well-being of young people.
Over 25 years on from her first involvement, Kayleigh is now seen as a role model to many and works tirelessly to ensure that young people across the city are supported and kept safe.
She and colleague Mark Morton work on the Premier League Kicks Targeted Programme, which aims to support vulnerable people at risk of child exploitation.
Working alongside Hull City Council’s VEMT (Vulnerable, Exploited, Missing and Trafficked) Team, Kayleigh and Mark are able to identify young people who may need early intervention and they then work closely with the young people to support them.
She believes it’s important to celebrate weeks like Youth Work Week 2021 because of the unique impact youth workers make for their communities.
“It’s important that we pay tribute to occasions like this because youth workers play a role in the community that nobody else does,” she said.
“We are not teachers, we are not parents, we are there as a role model.
“Our role is to support young people and to help them achieve their full potential.”
For anyone looking to follow Kayleigh’s inspiring pathway into youth work, she considers her experience of volunteering as the key to where she has made it to today.
“I would say to anyone looking towards a career in youth work, all of my experience came through volunteering.
“There are opportunities to volunteer at the Trust, especially on the Premier League Kicks Programme, but there are a lot of other organisations across the city that do similar work that you could get involved with.”
We are incredibly proud of the work we do with young people across Hull and East Riding.
Thank you, Kayleigh.