An army corporal who featured on TV show, Lads’ Army, spoke at the Youth Service’s conference last week.
Richard Nauyokas attended the event as guest speaker, where he gave a motivational talk to those involved in youth projects across the island.
About 100 full and part-time youth workers attended the conference at Henry Bloom Noble School, in Douglas.
Richard said the island has many qualities to help give children a better direction in life.
’There’s a real passion here. We had a lot of positive feedback on the night and parents stayed afterwards to talk about it. You can also contact your MHKs directly with any issues concerning youth.
’Any group in society have their different issues, but the facilities on the island give kids great opportunities to get involved in many activities.’
Richard served in the army for 23 years previous to setting up a company called Not All Bad in 2005, which supplies motivational training and support for young adults.
He became well-known during his role on the ITV’s Lads’ Army and Bad Lads’ Army reality shows, where he was a firm but fair disciplinarian towards the participating youths.
With years of experience in youth work, having also taken over two large youth groups in Grantham, Richard shared his knowledge on dealing with hard to reach children at the talk.
’Once you take a kid out of their environment, you get a different calibre of what they are. You need to turn around and give them an alternative if you cannot find an activity that they’re interested in,’ he said. ’Those kids that we’re dealing with are probably bored, but there’s lots to do here on the island.
’When working with young adults, I let them advise me. I begin with asking them ’what do you do socially?’ and ’Have you ever been on a kayak or been horse riding?’ I get them to tell me what they haven’t done.’
The Youth Service, which is part of the Department of Education and Children, runs clubs and projects such as Soundcheck, CafÃ© Laare and the Youth Motor Project for young adults.
It operates the Youth Arts Centre, Ardwhallan outdoor education centre, Youth Motor Project and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, all of which had representatives at the conference.
Nigel Howard, the service’s principal youth officer, said: ’The Youth Service provides activities, skills and a listening ear to thousands of young people, with 65 clubs and projects run over 100 sessions a week.
’The conference is youth workers’ chance to get together, reflect on the challenges and successes of the past year and plan for the year ahead.’
Nigel invited Richard Nauyokas to speak at the conference. The pair had met while working on support programmes at the same UK prison to help inmates during and after their sentences.