Sometimes you are just in the right place at the right time. I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason. As a wise man told me….Nothing is ever wasted.
So today I attend someone else’s training on gangs and CSE. My presentations and training are based around a very streets level understanding. What is like for the young people on the streets. Of course, I also come from a academic point of view with a focus on education, due to my back ground. But it is based very much through the eyes of the females on the street. Because that I was I know best.
So, when other people offer training around gangs and CSE I like to attend and see what I can learn and how I can grow from what others can teach me. Like I have said in a previous blog, it is important for practitioners to share information and training purely so that the young people can grow. Sometimes I also attend training to see what level the bar is at in regards of training. To make sure that I keep my game high and my information fresh.
Today, myself and a colleague attend an event that had been set up for different practitioners from education such as safeguarding leads and head of years/houses. This training was something I felt I had to attend for a few different reasons. This training was coming from an angle that is completely opposite from a streets level. I like that, I like to see what gangs may look like through the eyes of others, what advice can be given around CSE from those who have not had to experience it first-hand.
So up we rock…rushing so we are not late. We arrive, get lost obviously, and the find where we need to go. We sit down with all the other professionals. I always feel a little awkward at these events. I always feel like I am out of my depth. Like I shouldn’t really be there hahah
So, we wait…and wait…and wait. Then the man who has booked the event comes into the room looking very stressed and announces that the facilitators are not coming! They had not called or anything. They said that they had forgotten to book it in the diary!! A event that had been emailed to all the different agencies….booked in by all these people …. And they forgot!
The man who had arranged all this was apologising and looked genuinely upset. He felt bad because people had travelled from all over. I saw him catch my eye and I quickly looked down at my phone, pretending I was involved in a very in-depth conversation. He walks over and bends down next to me…I know what is coming and my heart is banging. “Kendra” …he whispers “Will you get up and deliver”. I look up at him and half smile. I have nothing! No PowerPoint. No handouts. I have not prepared a single thing. But I always knew he was going to ask me once I knew that the facilitators were not coming. And I always knew I was going to deliver. You know why?
Because every training session, every time I tell my story or share what I have learnt, there is a chance that it could help a young person. Could save a life. Me talking could make someone go…..”Ohhhh, I see, now I understand” . Like I said yesterday, the lady at work told me that I have a platform and I must use it.
The thing is…I was not prepared and felt like I was a rapper about to freestyle. My top lip was moist I tell you that.
“Ok” I said to him in a small voice. I walk to the front and log into my emails to find my PowerPoint. People are angry and grumbling, of course they are, it s hot and after school and they have just been told that they will not receive training. Tough crowd before I even got started. I found my power point and introduced myself in a shaky voice to a room of people that now have no clue what is going on. In my head I said, “Do not choke on your mums spaghetti” (50 points for every person who gets that).
And you know what I did? I delivered some bad boy presentation. I had people answering questions and looking at their own practice. I got them to see things from the child’s point of view. I shared some of my practice and they shared their concerns. We talked about involving parents and what to do if children and young people are exposed to gangs and CSE.
I played them a bit of grime…just to wake them up a bit 😊
I killed the game. And when I finished…they Clapped! I winged it the only way a true child of the streets knows how to lol.
You know why. Because as a professional it is yours and mine responsibility to ensure that you do everything you can to spread the word. You have to be on the grind to fight against gangs and CSE 247. Mate, I am writing this blog at 23:50 at night. I am sooooooo knackerd and I am not sure if I have ironed my clothes for tomorrow hahah
But here I am. Making time. Single mum…a million jobs….3 kids…2 daughter in laws…2 cats… Showing and putting in the hard work. Because I am truly committed to making a change.