2012: A Year Of Youth Work In Preview

January: The last two weeks of January see your youth club win a once in a life time trip to Iceland to see the Northern Lights. You don’t spell this out clearly in the consent form, leaving two mothers and a nan standing outside Iceland for three days wondering why their children weren’t there.

February: Your minibus breaks down, the parts that need replacing are the alternator and cambelt and you’ll need to jump start the engine (remember the battery is under the seat). Unfortunately you’ll forget this prophetic knowledge untill after you break down. Still, at least now you can be more confident speaking to the AA.

March: Justin Bieber comes out. Of hiding! To publicise his 9th album Justin Bieber goes into Where’s Wally style hiding with whichever fan finds him winning a life time supply of phone calls to friends proving that they’ve met Justin Bieber (he’s a big fan of Dostoevsky, who would have thought). He gives up after two weeks when his Kindle battery finally dies. Practically for you, this means those three fourteen year old girls can finally attend youth club without turning over the entire church building just in case he’s hiding under the pews.

April: Being cool goes out of fashion. Seeing as your entire outreach ministry is based around being cool you’re forced to radically rethink how you do things. You try not being cool for a bit, but that’s considered cool, and so out of fashion.

May: Camarthenshire, Northumberland, and the London Borough of Barnet are the last councils left funding youth work. This leads to mass immigration, giving Northumberland the highest ratio of youth worker to young person ever. It also means the Berwick Upon Tweed Argos never has any table tennis equipment in stock.

June: Finally, the new pool table arrives. Except it’s a swimming pool in the shape of a table. Confusion reigns as you can’t return it. But then the young people being young people come up with a brilliant new game that combines the best of pool, the best of water polo and the best of that game where you have to hook ducks with a fishing rod in fairgrounds.

July: As exams come to a close the greatest change in schooling in the history of the world happens, completely ruining your entire schools work plan. However as this year in preview concerns youth work not schools work we’re not at liberty to tell you what happens.

August: After watching hours and hours of the Olympics your young people become obsessed with trying out these new sports. To save money you use the same equipment for fencing, javelin throwing, and the pole vault. This is a terrible idea.

September: The great mystery of the pool table is solved when you come to open up the baptistry and find instead a pool table built into the floor below the pulpit. You can’t get it out, so you make the best of the situation and baptise the people in the youth centre pool table. A few weeks later you find the church warden sneakily improving his putting on the baptistry.

October: Call of Honour Battle Warfare Ops II is released. Your boys work starts to shut down as more and more teenagers stay in playing online. You buy a copy so you can continue your series “temptations we all face” over XBOX live. Turns out one temptation we all face that you hadn’t written a session on is rage-quitting team firefight when your so called team-mates repeatedly snipe you in the back of the head while pretending they haven’t turned friendly fire on.

November: Your numbers still haven’t picked up since the April cool debacle. And then realisation dawns, it wasn’t that cool isn’t fashionable anymore, it’s that you being cool isn’t fashionable anymore. You resign.

December: Yourself to getting old. Sorry. You resign yourself to getting old. Phew. You still manage to finish the year with a job.