Joy writes....

I’ve always wanted to be a super hero.

Ever since I was a kid swooping through the air in an amazing costume and mask, saving people and solving every problem presented to me with a well-choreographed action scene has really appealed to me.

Which is kind of how I ended up in youth work.

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100 meters from our front door is the local fried chicken shop. Each week we'll pit our meal cooked by the young people against it.

This week we made Spicy Moroccan Chicken with Couscous and chickpeas. A really simple one this week where everything is cooked together, saves on washing up!

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These stunning pizzas weren't cooked in our normal Thursday Cooking session but with our Boy's Club. The one on the left even has a stuffed crust! They tasted as good as they look.

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100 meters from our front door is the local fried chicken shop. Each week we'll pit our meal cooked by the young people against it.

This week we took a risk and cooked a vegetarian dish. Halloumi, Roast Vegetables, Tomatoes and Chickpeas and Couscous. We were all surprised that there wasn't too many complainants although that could have been because it was delicious!

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100 meters from our front door is the local fried chicken shop. Each week we'll pit our meal cooked by the young people against it.

This week we cooked a Spaghetti Bolognese. This was a firm favourite with the young people but everyone had their own opinion on how it should be had, what should be included and what needed to be left out.

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100 meters from our front door is the local fried chicken shop. Each week we'll pit our meal cooked by the young people against it.

This week as it's Easter we cooked a roast lamb dinner. With roast potatoes and gravy and all the trimmings this was a really special meal that brought the group together

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100 meters from our front door is the local fried chicken shop. Each week we'll pit our meal cooked by the young people against it.

This week we made the italian classic Lasagne. This was a real hit with people going back for seconds as well as scraping out the tin!

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100 meters from our front door is the local fried chicken shop. Each week we'll pit our meal cooked by the young people against it.

This week we made Honey and Lemon Chicken with Hassleback potatoes. The young people were really impressed with the results of the potatoes, although the aubergine sauce didn't go down too well. We soldier on...

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Joy writes ...

This term Urban Hope Friday evenings have been full of challenges, as our girl’s club works towards earning a weekend in the countryside. Over the last few weeks they have tried brand new foods, eaten bugs and made teddies all in the name of the ‘residential’.

Last weeks challenge was to turn Urban Hope into a restaurant. The girls did themselves proud, putting together a three course Mexican themed meal, decorated the halls, served the food and did (most) of the cleaning up! Their families and friends came and supported them (taking photographic evidence of the girls washing up!) and everyone ate together.

All term the group have been rising to every challenge put in front of them, sometimes with fear, sometimes with resignation but always with determination to succeed, and each success has been celebrated, not only by each other but by their communities. And each successfully completed challenge is confirmation of the fact that with help, they can do things that they never thought they could.

Which is one successfully completed challenge for me!

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Spencer asks ...

“How good are you at Fifa skill games? But not on your console, in real life!?” This is the challenge we have given the young people on the Colville estate.

Every Tuesday and Friday we head down to a football cage in the centre of the Colville estate, Hoxton with our hand made football targets and an open challenge to show how good you are at real life Fifa skill games. If you’re not sure what this is the idea is to hit all four targets setup in the goal in, “This is so easy, watch!”, is often the reply from new challengers. We’ve found it such a good way to break the initial contact barrier with young people we haven’t met before, also it seems to encourage those we already know to brave the cold and come out and kick a ball around.

The football cage is visible from the flats on the estate so some of the young people can look out of their window and see us play. Over the winter period to have a football and hot chocolate wasn’t always enough to bring people out of the homes, however the targets have given us an edge over the cold weather.

Some people say that young people don’t go and outside and play as much as they should these days, why would they with game consoles, Facebook, YouTube etc.Perhaps a challenge for youth workers today (especially those who do detached work) is to find and create different ways to make outdoor play fun, interesting and challenging!

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