Afehia is a Move-on Specialist Support Worker at Look Ahead’s Young People Service in Milton Keynes. Here she works with young people with a variety of needs including a growing number of Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children (UASC).
I first started my journey with Look Ahead as a temporary support worker working with young people, including those who have experienced care. I have now progressed to be a move-on specialist, where I focus on supporting our young people to move on to independent living.
Being part of a young person’s journey to getting back on their feet is wonderful. It feels fantastic to support customers to maximise their potential, enjoy new experiences and make positive changes to go on to live the kinds of independent lives we would all want to lead.
I am passionate about ensuring our young people are treated fairly, with dignity and respect, and I do my best to make sure their voices are heard. Listening to our customers is at the heart of how we work together. We agree on manageable goals, and then support customers to achieve them. The young people themselves are my inspiration, seeing their smiles and happiness gives me real job satisfaction.
It’s been wonderful to help our customers enjoy new opportunities and activities as well. Through working with fundraising and external partners and supporters, we’ve been able to offer customers new experiences and opportunities they may otherwise not have had.
As well as day trips, life skills activities and courses, this year our young people have also had the opportunity to work with arts and culture organisation, the Black Sheep Collective CIC on a theatre piece entitled I wear my decisions like a crown. It has been brilliant to see how performing has helped improve their confidence.
Developing confidence is a big part of preparing young people for the transition to adulthood, and to move on.
It’s also really important that all our young people – including those who are Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children – feel at home too, and that their religious and cultural needs are met. We’ve teamed up with our local mosque and have been holding fast breaking or iftar party events during Ramadan as well as celebrating festivals like Eid.
I get so much satisfaction out of my job and seeing the confident, happy, and independent young adults that our customers become.