Last week was an awful week as riots spread across the country. Here they were only a couple of miles away and the reality really hit home. Violence – theft – criminality – looting: none of it in any way excusable.
But sadly a lot of its roots were visible if very complex. A consumerist society where to have the next thing is encouraged – youth services cut – a growing gulf between rich and poor – lack of good support for many parents; and so the list goes on.
In the midst of the darkness of last week there were signs of hope. The clean ups led by communities gathered together. Stories of heroism.
For me one of the positives was the media exposure for many youth workers. I sat time after time listening to youth leaders talking eloquently about how best we can help young people – about the pressures they face – about stories of good news. Sadly many of these interviews were hidden in rolling news programmes and not on the main news. But hopefully we can start to listen to youth workers who know what they are talking about – who knew tensions were rising – who can truly make a difference to these young people and ultimately to our future society.
Let’s hope their voices are heard in the right places.