Perry's Journey at OTR

Hello! This is a little blog about myself and my journey through Off the Record (OTR).

I’d like to start off by saying a little about myself and my story leading up to my role. I will walk you through how I found out about OTR and what I gained from them as a young person and as a member of staff.

The beginning, I first found out about OTR through their youth group SPACE, which I found online. Let’s go on a quick flash back to 2013 (don’t worry I have some photos).

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So, in 2013 I attend SPACE for the first time, this was a challenging time for me as I recently came out as gay and was experiencing a tough time at school because of it. At SPACE I found my tribe and was able to express myself and BE myself without judgement. So, a few years went by as a regular member of SPACE. During that time, I was given countless opportunities & empowerment. Some of them was to help interview and take an active role in shaping Off the Record. So, as you can imagine these opportunities are what guided me to applying for the apprenticeship here at OTR. After helping OTR with many things I naturally grew an interest in helping other young people and giving them the support and empowerment, I was given as a young person from OTR.

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During my time as a young person attending SPACE, I got involved in helping Bath Pride, which was a great experience and learning opportunity. Being able to attend and support in Bath Pride was very self-liberating, helping and attending Pride in my hometown, a place that boxed me in and stripped me of my individuality and made me feel less than my peers. Seeing how Pride here in Bath helped me and other LGBT+ people is amazing and something I will always be thankful for.

Now we have covered a little bit about myself and my life before my role here at OTR, let’s talk about my apprenticeship!  So, first things first were the interviews, although scary It was exciting, it was the first step in my career. Using the skills, I had learnt while helping to interview other staff when I was a young person paid off. Once passing phase one of the interview process, I had to prepare and deliver an activity to a group of young people which was terrifying, I found this part of the interviewing process the hardest. I created and delivered an activity on Trans inclusion which in my opinion is something that isn’t spoken about as much as it should be, the young people agreed, and I passed.

Alongside my role I attend college where I studied all year and obtained my youthwork qualification, during these lessons I learnt some “cool” things about many different subjects. That I used practically in my youth groups.

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I have been fortunate enough to work with some amazing young people and professionals, learning from both young people and staff alike. I have visited local schools and supported young people in many aspects of their lives.

From attending school/college open days to delivering listening support, are just some of the great things I have accomplished here as a LGBT+ Youth worker and supporting young people going through the same as me and those who just needed someone to listen.

I have had an amazing time working alongside my colleagues here at OTR and have learnt many new things. Since starting my apprenticeship, I was met with endless support and encouragement from not only my team but from OTR as a whole. It has been a pleasure working for Off the Record and being a role model for the young people of today.

So, that’s that, this is how I learnt grew & changed into the man I am today. Now I am off to London to further my career as a Health & wellbeing support worker.

Thank you for reading my story, I hope that if there is anything you can personally take from my journey it’s that anything is achievable and be your most authentic self no matter what life throws at you, you will continue to grow, learn and overcome even life’s most darkest of days.

Thank you, Perry

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