The Importance of Hot Chocolate
24 September 2012
‘Do you want to meet up with me for a hot chocolate?’ Is a question I ask the girls we work with all the time. Normally, the first time of asking the answer is a confused look and an ‘ummm, I’m really busy!’ It can be a weird thought to a young person to spend time just chatting with an adult. But I’m persistent and when they finally agree, those one to one spaces can become one of the most significant aspects of their relationships with us.Over the years I have experienced young women sharing, their successes, their hopes, their difficulties and their pain.
I have listened to stories and, when relevant, shared my own. And those conversations make a difference to young people’s lives. Over a hot chocolate, situations are resolved, understanding is achieved, problems are halved and hope is offered.
At Urban Hope every evening young people come to us for clubs, and though we work with smallish groups (between 10-15 ideally) between finding pool chalk and making the internet work, it can be hard to find the opportunity to get beyond brief catch ups and surface conversations.
So, I’ll be taking girls out for a hot chocolate, and though it doesn’t always seem as exciting as teaching young people to cook, or sing, it’s the one of the most important parts of my job, because it's where together we can explore the heart of the issues they're facing and together figure out a way forward.