I have worked for Oxford CYM for 15 years now, hard to believe I started in the year 2000! As probably the only non-practising Christian in the organisation it makes it even harder to believe for some!
I have always admired the work that churches and Christian organisations do with young people, since going to a church youth club myself, many years ago! Some ‘kids’ do not have anyone to talk to at home, and friends are good as sounding boards but maybe not givers of the best advice. Youth workers, whether in schools or clubs are invaluable in my view, hence I have enjoyed being part of such a great organisation.
Oxford CYM is partnered with Oxford Youth Works, who for many years has worked with young people in Oxford, within schools, running youth groups, organising trips and being there when needed.
As a mother of two grown up children and grandmother to three I love to see how my parental ethics and values are carrying on and how amazing the next generations can be with proper love and support, which every child needs and deserves.
I am very proud of my children, my son is a product manager in the IT world and my daughter drives ambulances and saves lives for a living, they are my best achievement in life.
My favourite part of the job has always been the contact with students, getting to know them and seeing them grow and develop into amazing youth workers or children and families workers.
There have been many stories to tell over the years; in our last building we had pigeons in the loft, which had a tendency to die and drop maggots through the ceiling into our lecture hall, we had the occasional unexpected visitor from the street too, one homeless man got into my office and called me the Angel Gabrielle!?
The best way to my heart – good coffee or wine, I’m not a chocolate person as a rule, although will give it a go!
If I could only save one person from my team I would point out we are a very small team and could all fit into a life boat quite easily, leaving one behind is not an option as I work with the best and we are all indispensable!