Luke: What is it?
Ben: ‘Informal Education’. [He hands a copy of “Jeffs and Smith” definitive work on the subject to Luke, who begins to leaf through it while Ben continues.] This is the weapon of a JNC Knight. Not as clumsy or random as ‘School’ or ‘Needs based referrals.’ An elegant tool, for a more civilized age. For over fifty years, the JNC Knights were guardians of community, and facilitators of opportunity for young people …. in the United Kingdom, and beyond. Before the dark times. Before the austerity wars.
Luke: [Closes book] How did Youth work die?
Ben: An entire political agenda that protected the rich but demanded cuts for the poor. Youth work was betrayed and murdered by; massive funding cuts, removal of funding for training, and a limited hub based approach more akin to targeted social work. A systematic failure to recognize the needs and aspirations of young people, a failure to see the importance of working in community, and not understanding the role played by the JNC Knights. These all contributed to ‘informal education’ being virtually purged from the galaxy. We were betrayed!