I was recently asked by some fellow students to talk about why we do the activities we do, and if we are honest, many people see the activities run my youth workers as just that, an activity with no meaning beyond its entertainment value.
In my practice I try to avoid doing an activity just for the sake of doing something and in practice, at time this can be difficult however with the help of a bit of unaccredited theory I picked up in my first year at university I am able to look at exactly why I do what I do.
The theory itself is VIP:
V – Vehicle
I – Issue
P – process
The idea behind VIP is that the activity you are doing is a vehicle, the way in which you are going to tackle any given issue.
The issue is exactly that, the issue you are hoping to tackle through your activity, be that the alcohol, drugs, sex, anti-social behaviour or any number of issues affecting the young people we work with
And then there is the Process, how exactly are we going to use this activity to tackle the issue.
There will always be a time when we do an activity just for the sake of having a bit of fun, however I find it useful to use VIP to look at how the activities I run contribute to the overall success of my youth work practice.
NOTE: the original author of VIP is unknown however it is believed to have originated from Cheshire West and Chester Young Peoples Service