By Andrea Fox
Everyone should have dreams, something to work for – sadly when young people have these dreams and ideas they are so often brushed aside, overlooked or put down as a whim. They are scoffed at with an ‘as if you could ever do that’, not just from so called friends but often from family and teachers too. It is such a fantastic feeling when a young person achieves their goal – their first certificate or qualification, to speak or perform in front of people, to play a tune on an instrument or paint a picture, even more – when a young person is accepted onto a college course or gets a job they want, comes off substances, gets an offer of a university place. The young people I am talking about are the ones who are ‘written off’ by most of the community, the ones who end up believing they really cannot do anything so get into the trap of nuisance and unacceptable behaviour – they become exactly what others perceive them to be. By keeping their dreams alive, supporting them unconditionally, and creating opportunities for them, the Drop Inn team have been involved in helping turn so many young lives round. The reward? To see the look on their faces when they realise their dream, to see them happy and confident, with a qualification or maybe a job, to know they are keeping out of trouble because they are with us planning and taking part in activities. When they achieve something which to them is a dream, it’s even better when you see their pride in proving the negative people wrong. As for the Drop Inn team – we are the worst dreamers – yet with determination and belief we manage to achieve the ‘impossible’. After storm damage at the end of 2013 we still have a few repairs to do, while assessing the damage the ideas started to flow between the team. It starts with having to plan the rebuild of the entrance porch due to it losing its roof, and ends with ideas for a complete garden to include a sensory area. Talk about easily distracted, it jumped from one thing to another encompassing living sculptures, building recycling bins, decorating the toilets, making paper aeroplanes and going on to environmental graffiti then building a totally new centre with all it could house. The young people with us catch the enthusiasm and creativity and before we know it we have a whole years worth of projects and activities in the making. Even if the dream doesn’t come true, the journey can be fantastic with friends you make and things you learn, the journey itself is the best experience.