I am 74 and for most of my working life, including my voluntary and community activities, have been involved in work with young people. I started as a member of a Jewish youth club in Manchester in the 1940s and worked my way through ‘senior member’ and ‘voluntary leader’ roles while I was still living at home and at university and went on to do a qualifying course in youth work after I graduated. My jobs have included a couple of years as a teacher, part time youth work with a range of organisations (statutory and voluntary) and as a trainer of youth workers and other professionals.
My last ‘proper’ job before I ‘retired’ in 1992 was a Youth Officer with the Sheffield Youth Service. Since then I’ve been a part-time consultant focusing mainly on youth work, services for young people and the development of youth strategies and policies. I’m now also a trustee of 42nd Street, a mental health resource for young people in Manchester, and of South Warwickshire YouthBank. I continue to write on youth work and youth policies.
My commitment to MYWF comes from my passion for youth work as a way of meeting, supporting and inspiring young people – particularly in the kinds of pressured situations Muslim young people find themselves in today. My involvement stems too from my wider experience as a secular Jew who has striven all his life for greater equality and justice and to help create opportunities for people from different backgrounds to embrace and enjoy their differences and to discover and embrace what binds them.