Steven Uttley

"I have had the immense privilege to have spent the last twenty years of my life working with children and young people in many situations and settings. This has provided challenges which have, at times, left me scrambling for the weekend, and at others for the refuge of the week after a full-on weekend residential!
the journey
I began as a volunteer aged 16 at a sports night with a group of Black young people in my home town of Preston, and since have ventured into the inner city high rises of Leeds to deliver community work, delivered HIV awareness to young men in the Marshall Islands, undertaken youth work with Muslim young men in Blackburn, overseen street based (detached) youth work and work with young women in Watford, prised excluded young people out of their beds to attend midday assertiveness training; and, had a whole range of experiences to make your hair curl, your eyes weep or your belly ache with laughter in between.
For 11 years I delivered social education opportunities as an Inclusion Worker for some of the most vulnerable and disaffected young people attending a large secondary school in Watford.

Currently, I offer some groupwork, but mostly one-to-one support sessions in a number of education support centres/pupil referral units, schools and academies, and to children/young people and their families via a number of statutory or charitable organisations.  
my philosophy
During my career so far I have really cut my teeth and developed a personal philosophy that finds me here before you today. SpeakEasy embodies this philosophy. One which starts with a simple hello and leads to honest, open and transparent dialogue with my clients. A cycle of reflection, understanding or making sense, and action is maintained within this relationship.
The outcomes are, whatever they may be, owned wholly by the child/young person. Process is king in my book. This focus takes into account the truths and realities of the children and young people with whom I engage; and does not allow me to simply workshop them, tick a box or count them solely as a problem to be solved.
an holistic approach
My approach to this work has meant that I am skilled, knowledgable and competent in understanding and working with many of the issues facing children and young people. Thus I do not shy away from open speak about any of these matters. Some of the issues addressed include:
  • identity and understanding self (self-talk and self awareness)
  • identity and issues of race and cultural affiliation
  • masculinity/young men's work
  • drug and alcohol use and misuse/awareness
  • school survival strategies
  • understanding anger and alternatives to aggression
  • emotional literacy
  • relationship issues
  • sexual health
  • mental health matters
  • risk-taking and criminality
  • self-harm
  • living with parents who abuse substances
  • developing strengths and working towards goals
  • healthy living
  • independent living skills
  • and much more
Of course I am not expert in all things and thus have experience of multi-agency/integrated practice and signposting young people on to access specialist support. I have always felt that children and young people are much more likely to trust a next step if they have the support and encouragement of a trusted adult alongside.
The trust that has been bestowed in me has been a privilege. A huge amount of reflection, reading, listening, acknowledging flaws, thinking, tears and toil, making sense and achieiving change has led me to this place; and still I am learning and being challenged. Thanks to all those young people who have inspired this humbled youth worker"  
Steven Uttley has a BA (Hons) in Youth & Community Studies and has had much professional development and training including: counselling skills, personal life coaching, positive therapy, protective behaviours, child protection, drug awareness, anger management and self harm awareness, to name but a few. He is influenced greatly by the pedagogic practice and theory of Paulo Freire.
He has a full clean UK driving license. Further to this he has been the designated member of staff with responsibility for child protection and all that entails, within his last employ, for 6 years.
beyond work
Steven is married with two beautiful daughters and enjoys nothing more than a picnic in the woods with his family. Steven is a florid poet, writing much of the emotional twists ciphered through his work into rhymes aplenty. He is still trying to be healthy and enjoys a good walk, a bit of stretching, cycling and a good rest. Music is his therapy from Erykah Badu to Sonny Rollins and Task Force to Burning Spear.
His adopted motto is,
'There is only one duty, that is to be happy'
Denis Diderot, 16th Century French philosopher
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