Where do we go from there?

Dec 8, 2023 | news

Jenny Courtney, BYC CEO, consistently underscores the transformative nature of our journey in becoming a restorative hub within the community. James, the RP coordinator, aptly describes the process as “hard at first, messy in the middle, and gorgeous at the end” (Robin Sharma).

As we near the end of our third year, it’s worthwhile to reflect on the principal transformations. While I have been documenting the club’s story over the past few months, it is not formal research. Still, as an outsider, I have noticed some shifts. What strikes me most is the cohesion the team has achieved throughout this undertaking. Conflicts and tensions, some specifically related to RP, have been navigated and overcome. The project has evolved into a shared collective vision, resulting in more consistency in how youth workers interact with young people and each other.

When the RP coordinator left in March 2023, Denise and Dean stepped up to continue the work as “RP champions”. Some staff left, which is sad, but it shows the club’s direction is clearer, and staff can decide if they share the same vision.

The impact on young people is palpable. If the club was always a vibrant and joyful place, there is an added dimension now. Proper research could delve deeper into this: relationships seem steadier, and the atmosphere is calmer. The youth council is active, and young people have responsibilities like setting a code of conduct and suggesting activities.

Now, the club is ready for the second phase of the project—reaching out, forming partnerships, and spreading RP in the community. It started with a visit from Derry youth service and will continue with plans to engage with parents and older youth in the near future.

It’s an ongoing journey with no real endpoint. It’s about practice, adjustment, and reflection, possible only when there’s trust among all, and vulnerability is seen as a strength. The club’s current state looks promising, a space to watch for positive and hopeful developments!