Harry Anstee with Informal Learning, Wakefield
I'm thrilled to have come back to Agbrigg and work with Mal for a second time.Its been very interesting seeing how the project has developed and expanded.I am looking forward to keeping in contact with the informal learning team, and once settled atUniversity, looking to come up and teach music to the homeless people.
During my placement, I helped service users in their support sessions- helping them with their CV or job applications. It gave me a chance to see what their characters are like. Every couple of days I took part in house visits- where IL go to the tenants houses and make sure everything is in order, check he electric and gas meters etc. This really exposed me to what the service users are like-seeing the mess they lived in- I saw how difficult it must be to live with 2 other (often unmotivated and uninterested) people.
I sat in on different meetings- one with Mal discussing funding- I learnt how IL get funding, and what the different uses of the money are.
I also went to the probation service with Andy where he interviewed a PPO (priority and prolific offender), who had just come out of prison, and was looking to be housed by IL. I felt very exposed in the interview- and was surprised with some of the responses on the gentlemen "to be honest mate, id rather be in prison then be out", and the response to "where do you see yourself in 20 years time "old man in prison"- hardly inspiring aspirations for a man only in his thirties.
On Wednesday the 24 th I took part in interviewing a guy applying for a job as a youth worker at St Georges Youth Project, Halifax. See below.
I have also seen the brother project of Informal Learning- The Saviour Trust based in Pontefract. This is more developed as it was set up earlier. It was nice to see what IL will hopefully be like in a few years time.
On the 25 th Vic took me to the mental hospital to look in on a meeting discussing the future of a man named Carl. The Saviour Trust had housed Carl in the recent past, but it was deemed unsafe for himself and other so he was sent to the mental home. Carls time in the mental hospital had run out. Vic was very concerned about housing him again, not only because of Carls safety, nut also the safety of other tenants and staff of ST. Carl has one leg and one eye. His face was gaunt-but he was apparently looking well. I felt this was a very good opportunity for me to see what the people I have been working with really do. It was decided that Carl was going to come out of the home, as there is not enough space and his problems seemed to be more drug related than mental- compared to some of the patients in there.
Over all my experiences in Wakefield have been invaluable-but what I think is one of the most important things is just being in the community for two weeks. Walking down the street on my own, being able to see for myself what the community is like. It has been fantastic staying with Mal- she knows so much about the community, and so much about the people in the community-she has been able to give me an insight to her knowledge of the place and the people.