I spent last Friday at a Jubilee celebration with young people from our Fun United Youth Clubs, who had come together to share a day of excitement.
It was great fun, as these sessions always are. Many of the young people didn't know each other, as they come from different clubs, but they just got on with having a good time together and it was great to see.
In the morning, I ended up kitted out with rubber gloves and an apron and helping a very keen group of teenagers to make a mosaic of the Union Jack. They worked brilliantly together as a team and produced a very impressive piece of art by the end of the morning. I did my best to keep a ready supply of tile cement on the board and off the floor - an overall success by the end of the morning, I think.
Lunch was a street party. Everyone ate their lunch together and there was lots of lively conversation and laughter, fuelled by some wonderful cakes and nibbles which a number of supportive parents had brought along.
The hall then turned into a disco, with a very demanding DJ who would not let anyone just sit and watch! A young man (I can't share his name) decided that he would take personal charge of (a) making sure that I participated on the dance floor and (b) that he would take as many photos of me doing something I absolutely dislike as he could.
It all ended with home time and some very happy young people, happy and grateful parents and carers and an exhausted staff team.
What did I learn? I learnt that young people are great at just getting on with it. We need to keep working hard so that as these young people become adults, they can enjoy the freedom, fun and participation that were evident last Friday. And I learnt that sometimes we all need a bit of a push to do things we're reluctant to do - but once pushed, we might even share quietly with others that we enjoyed ourselves!