For the last 4 years I have worked at the Citadel Youth Centre, based in the Leith area of North West Edinburgh. Leith as an area has a distinct culture having only been amalgamated with Edinburgh in 1920. It is common for Local people often described as Leithers, when asked where they are from, to say Leith rather than Edinburgh. As a port it is an area which has experienced lots of immigration over the years and as a result, is very diverse. In recent times it is an area which has also changed significantly through gentrification. Having grown up in Leith, it is an area that I have a strong personal connection with and a place I am very proud of.
My main role at the Citadel Youth Centre focusses on intergenerational work, and I am a passionate advocate of this practice as a way of enabling communities to become better connected. My role also involves being based in a local high school 2 days a week as the youth worker in the school. Poverty and issues around drugs and alcohol misuse are prevalent issues I have been dealing with recently.
In my spare time I am a passionate reader and enjoy attending my book group. I have also been focusing this year on improving my yoga practice. I also regularly volunteer with an older person, providing him company while he helps me learn Spanish.
I think it is important to be part of the advisory board in order to support the institute in remaining relevant to communities across the UK. In being part of the advisory board I hope to learn more about how other communities across the UK have become better connected. I am also excited to share some of the ways in which the Citadel Youth Centre has enabled members of the local Leith community to become better connected.