Jess’s story

I live locally in Ruchill and I have been coming to NUC since I was 8 years old. Today I am a youth worker. I love my work and I feel I understand the young people round here. Things are going well; but it was not always like that.

I used to be difficult, challenging you might say, confrontational. Not very nice. I hated everything and everyone. Yet despite that I still came along to NUC, if only to pick an argument. I’d yell ‘I hate you’ to the youth workers and I’d give anyone who crossed me a hard time. I must have been a total nightmare: but NUC never gave up on me.

After a while I began to see that I could be as horrible as I liked, it would not change their attitude. Eventually I got tired of being a pain in the neck.

How did I get like that? Truth is, it was not a bad home we had. Maybe it was me, and maybe it wasn’t just me, I am not sure. What I am sure of is that I had a lot of anger.

It impressed me that the youth workers, even though I was pretty nasty to them, were never nasty back. I think that this showed real strength. After a while I realised I needed to do something, because deep down I was not the person I was making myself out to be. I knew I could be a person people could turn to for help.

So I started volunteering at NUC. Jill, the leader, got me some training courses, and when a placement opportunity came up with a neighbouring youth project, I put my name down. Then my big break came: I did so well they kept me on as a member of staff. I have been working there for 2 years now. I think I am good at working with young people, but I am at my best with the wee ones.

If I could give a young person who is not coping some advice I would say – come in and talk to someone. You will feel better, maybe find a way through and change your life. It worked for me.