A question

I am playing in a mens group squash competition on Monday! It’s been a wee while* since I last played but it’s not my lack of recent practice that worries me (although it probably should). My question is this: Can I turn up with my wooden squash racquet? AND will I be the only one still equipped with round headed wooden framed one?
*about 20 years in fact BUT hey how much can your forget/change in a fifth of a century
newfangledracquet.jpgCAPTAINS LOG SUPPLEMENTAL: Well I turned up with my racquet (a much loved 18th birthday present) and it did cause some amusement, particularly from the teenagers! Someone kindly offered me the used of a more modern racquet assuming that there would be some sort of advantage conferred by the fact it was so much lighter, had twice the stringed surface areas and a square edge that coped with corners better.
And did it make a difference? OH YES!!
Am definitely going to be getting me one of these new fangled ones!
PS: For Sale: Wooden squash racquet. Would suit antique collector or sports museum
CAPTAINS LOG SUPPLEMENTAL, SUPPLEMENTAL: Note so self, don’t play 3 matches next time: My body has rejected me, I ache all over and someone has injected rapid set concrete into my quads. urgh agggh

A childrens’ services (lead) youth work professional?

I wrote a while back about the confusion when it comes to the words “children” and “youth” and the different and conflicting definitions being applied, particularly when policy and general conversation are using the terms differently. (Article here)
However, new layers of confusion also arise with terms given to those who work with children/youth/young people. There already exists some fluidity in what constitutes a ‘youth worker’ but this could get even more complex in the whole arena of integrated childrens services/work force with anyone who does some work with young people being seen as a youth worker. All good in some ways but it starts to neuter the value/skills of those who are skilled in youth work (be they volunteer or employed) as opposed to delivering a specific service in one arena of work with young people.
There is a current proposal that fully qualified youth workers should be known as “youth work professionals” (CYPN report from Ross Watson April 20th 2010) to maintain a recognition of the skills and training of a JNC youth worker as opposed to someone who is working with young people (‘children’ in policy speak) but in a specific role.
We of course have further work to be done on what Youth ministry means in terms of the role it has and the skill set it requires from both voluntary and employed workers.
So, in summary: Reading the policies and practices and in this changing landscape there is a great deal of emphasis on working with young people BUT in any given circumstance there may be a great deal of confusion about the age group that is being worked with AND by whom and on what basis.
I am setting up Of-Confused as the monitoring body

Canoe quest

I’m trying to track down a 2nd hand open (‘Canadian’) canoe* at the moment but they are quite hard to come by. If you happen to hear of one for sale can you give me a shout, ta 🙂
on the rivereve.jpg
*not abandoned kayaking, its just the rest of the family want to join me and my daughter out on the water

Shed plus teenagers, the dennel

well posh shed.jpgIts not often that the Youthblog radar picks up a story that comes in on the ‘teenage’ frequency and simultaneously through the ‘shed’ early warning system, but it has happened. Apparently sales of REALLY pukka sheds are up as people look for an additional room that doesn’t need planning permission, these are often to give teenagers their own space. Story here
I’m rather chuffed with this as I’m an early adopter for once, my daughter has a den in the garden. Mind you, it’s built entirely from recycled material and the only cost I can recall was £1 spent on cable ties …. and hence not even close to the top 100 good looking sheds list.
I’m also chuffed that a whole generation are being inducted into sheddiness.
I’d like to define a new word for the shed as teen only space. I’m calling this a ‘dennel’
You saw it here first!! (and possibly for the last time)

ISA one page

Our Safeguarding guru produced a one slide guide to ISA, it looks like this


Set up after the Soham murders and Bichard report
All children’s workers must register, starting with new entrants and job changers
Extra box on Criminal Records Bureau application form
Registration is permanent and portable
Criminal Records Bureau checks are still required
Offenders against children and others found dangerous are removed from register and put on a barred list

Our precious protected selves

On Radio 2 at the weekend I heard the ABC quoted as saying, “we shall not find life by refusing to let go of our precious, protected selves”
I thought it was a great piece of spiritual wisdom and challenge, well communicated. I brief trawl on google tracked the context down to a sermon in 2005. I’m putting it here so I can find it again, and in case it grabs you too!

Yes Bishop

dr whoweepangelpromoshot.jpg
As usual for a Saturday, the tribe gathered around the Computer the moment that the latest Dr Who became available on the BBC i-player. It was a corker of an episode registering a full 3 cushions on the scariness scale as I observed from watching my youngest son.
The great thing was though that, the episode “The Time of Angels” turned out to be a 51st Century vision of the clergy, in particular that of Episcopal leadership. The gun carrying, combat wearing unit brought in to contain the threat were ‘brothers’ led not by a Commanding officer, but by the Bishop.

*note that link will only work in the UK

Jobs Bulletin

St Oswald’s Church, Sowerby, Thirsk, North Yorkshire is seeking to employ a Children and Young People’s Development Worker to co-ordinate, facilitate and develop the church’s work amongst children and young people.
18.5 hours per week to include some evenings, weekends, and occasional nights away from home. advert St Oswalds C and YP Dev Worker April 2010.doc
“The Diocese of Lincoln has developed an exciting new strategy for its work with young people and needs people of talent and experience to help implement it. The context of this role, working within a team of three people, is hugely varied, including London commuter towns and villages, wolds, fens and substantial industrial and commercial towns” Details here

Riding Lights Roughshod

Riding Lights Roughshod theatre company are in the Oxfordshire area next week and have a few spare evenings, those of:
Tuesday 27th April
Wednesday 28th April
Thursday 29th April or
Saturday 1st May

They are available, In their words ….
“In the evenings the company will be free to offer a number of workshops which focus on issues closer to self esteem, forgiveness, aspiration and relationships to any students aged 11 upwards.
This is a long shot due to time constraints but we would love to offer input to any events that might be taking place during the week – there is no cost to the work that the team offers and it would be a shame to miss them if there is space on a youth programme to fit them in!”
Contact me for more details