This past couple of weeks at Salmon, Lydia, Alex and Marcel who all attend Salmon decided to carry out their work experience here, and throughout the two weeks they learned new skills, made lasting relationships with the young people and got involved in loads of admin and youth work tasks. Read their experience here:

Lydia's Experience

Hi, my name is Lydia Abraham and for the past 2 weeks I’ve been doing work experience at the Salmon Youth Centre. In 2006, I’ve started participating in a few of the clubs the youth centre had to offer such as SCAD, S-Company and SC-Arts. Salmon has made me develop my confidence into doing things I would never think to do, and it used to be a big part of my life.

In my first week I have learnt that you take part into various activities that are out of your comfort zone. I took part in other activities that I never knew about such as adventure club and mixables (the disability group.) I also had the opportunity to help kids ages 6-9s and 10-13s in dance in order to prepare their performance in Peckham Rye. All of these activities took place on my first week of work experience, which was a bit nerve-racking for me, as I hadn’t come to Salmon in a long time. I met the staff members who have been really friendly during my time here and they have really helped me settle back into the place.

In my second week of work experience, I learned my lesson and took part in many more activities such as Arts and Crafts, Girls’ Fitness and Wheelchair Basketball. Furthermore, I completed tasks that were tougher than the first week, such as cleaning up the minibus. Because I took part in more activities, I had lots more opportunities of engaging with the young people that come to Salmon, for example in the 6-9s club I met a girl who didn’t have any friends to play with and she wanted to know how to perform a handstand, so I decided to play with her and help her out until she found some of her friends from school. The fact is that I enjoyed making her smile, which was one of my personal highlights throughout my 2 weeks here.

To conclude, I enjoyed my work experience and Salmon also taught me about better communication towards young people and helping other people out. I obtained key skills that I could use for future references such as applying for a job or how to communicate effectively in interviews. 

Marcel's Experience

My names Marcel, I attend St Michaels and I was here with my fellow schoolmates at Salmon. I think the main difference for me here is that I had to step up from being someone who attends club to being a volunteer. I had more responsibility in the club and I think I handled it pretty well as throughout the two weeks, the young people respected me as a member of staff. During my time here, I learnt the ethos of the centre, and saw what it brought to young people. With regards to youth work, teaching young people why it is important to be active in sports and being healthy. Either disabled or able bodied, it was clear to see the club means something to the young people.

In the first week I took part in clubs like the 6-9s club and 10-13s football and 10+ Cliffhanger club. I also luckily visited a Nike Tennis court with the 6-9s tennis club for free and got the privilege to play with trained tennis players.

My highlight working here was organising the summer party for the 14+ club. It took a lot of hard work from everyone but it went very very well.. It was a Southern America themed party (like Texas/Colorado). All the staff members dressed up in classic American cowboy gear, such as the chequered shirt, the bandana and boots.  I was tasked with making the games, such as pin the sunglasses on the Salmon fish and got involved with handing out prizes etc.

Overall I would strongly recommend this youth centre to anybody who is looking for a work experience placement this year or the next, because the two weeks here I picked up good attributes that I can use for future jobs. 

Alex's Experience

My name is Alex Smith-Slatton and I have been doing work experience here for 2 weeks. It felt different for me as I have been a member of Salmon since I was 6 years old and I now attend 14+ club every Friday. The atmosphere was different as I saw what happens in different clubs such as 6-9s and 10-13s.

In the first week I helped out during the tennis sessions with the 6-9s as they went on a trip to the Nike tennis court exhibition on Tanner Street. This was a good experience as it was lively and it showed that young people who go tennis put in a lot of effort whilst playing. Also during the first week, I helped out during 6-9s club. It was a different from what I remembered back in the day, but I helped out with gymnastics as well.

In the second week I helped out in Cliffhanger club, which was one of my favourite sessions. I helped Jide with the session which I helped belay young people up the climbing wall. This was great fun and I joined in as well and I had some laughs. Also in the second week, I helped out with football with the 10-13s. The session was lively and all the young people were engaged throughout. I was made manager of the yellow team and I was able to get my team into the finals. I developed my leadership skills whilst making my team play as a team all the way throughout the tournament and then won it. The staff members also gave out awards to young people to congratulate certain aspects that the young people were playing during the games such as golden boot or the most goals scored by a player.

Overall, my work experience has been good as I learnt new skills in each area I helped out in. Also, I learned how to time keep during working hours as well as learning how to engage with young people and helping them do new activities which they do not really like doing or afraid of doing. I also helped some of the young people build up their confidence which will help them in their day to day lives. 

"Overall, I would strongly recommend this youth centre to anybody who is looking for a work experience placement this year or the next, because the two weeks here I picked up good attributes that I can use for future jobs." - Marcel Abana, 15


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