28 Feb 2019

Molly's Thursday

Since joining the XLP Experience Year in September I can safely say that its been eye-opening, overflowing with opportunities and all round fun. In the last four months or so I have had the chance to build relationships with young people in schools, church, on bus projects and through mentoring. It’s such a good opportunity to be able to do a variety of projects and experience moments of joy and purpose and also different challenges in each one.

This year I was most looking forward to the XLP bus projects. They are such a cool environment where you can engage with young people in so many ways, whether they are trying to teach me how to play FIFA (which is still a mystery to me!) or making me lose really badly at card games (usually Dobble!) It’s awesome to be able to have conversations with them. I love when new kids come to the bus and they are so mesmerised by what we have going on and how the outside of the bus doesn’t match the fun and friendship (and often chaos) on the inside! But I equally love when the same young people come week on week. It’s amazing to be able to follow a journey with a young person to get to know them, learn what they like and don’t like, what they aspire to, what they struggle with and support, laugh and chat with them along the way. Everyone loves the bus!

I think my unexpected highlight of the year so far has been mentoring. I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I do! I mentor seven young people across three contexts, and I see them each week. Being able to do one to one is amazing as for some of them you can really see how they are growing over time, and how much they appreciate someone listening to them. Each one of them have different parts of their lives which need supporting and different individual wins that need celebrating however big or small. As someone who has been mentored through secondary school myself, I understand the value in it and the significance that can come from it, and it’s a joy to be a mentor myself now.

To top all of these experiences off I get to work with and learn from the incredible youth workers at XLP and have made awesome friends in my fellow Experience students. I can’t wait to see what the second half of this year holds!

Want to know more about spending a year serving the young people of London with XLP?
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