Here at Youth Moves we have always had a steady stream of apprentices coming through the project. Offering opportunities to local young people to get valuable work experience, and kick start their career into youth work.

This week is National Apprenticeship week - so we wanted to honour one of our latest and newest apprentices - Macy Lefeuvre.

So we sat down and had a chat about her background with Youth Moves, why she wanted to get into youth work, and what she is most excited about in her new apprenticeship. Enjoy...

So Macy are you local to the area, and how did you start with the project?

I'm from Knowle West yes, and I just started in a new role as an apprentice at Youth Moves.

How's it all going so far?

Good, it’s going good. I have been working on sessions so far, and enjoying it. Am excited to do more things.

So you've been involved in the Youth Opinions group before?

Yeah for a while now.

What kind of stuff did you do with them?

Lots really. We set up a youth fund, a project where we give money to different young people’s groups to help our community. We decided where it would go.

And we had a celebration event at the end of it. With everyone invited. It was great.

The Youth Opinions group that distributed funding to young people across South Bristol - here they are at the celebration evening. Macy is in the centre by the white board.

Have you been involved in Youth Moves as a young person for a long time?

I've been coming to the actual youth sessions since I was about 15. So three years. Then onto Youth Opinions group, but I only really recently started getting into the career side of things.

And you were nominated for an award?

Yes, at the Bristol Young Heroes Awards. We didn't actually win at the event, but the Youth Opinions group got shortlisted for team of the year. So I did as part of the group thing yeah.

Well, what was that like, being at a swanky event like that?

I didn’t even know what it was going to be like really. It was pretty upper class cause obviously we had to dress up, which was nice, and I don’t get to do that much coming from Knowle. So it was good. The food was nice, a proper big main course and that.

Do you think it's important to celebrate success of young people?

Yeah, I do. We don't always see the actual good in ourselves. And I actually felt like I was good enough to be there.

Like I felt like we earned this.

The Youth Opinions Group at the Bristol Young Heroes awards in December 2021. Macy is in the direct centre

Why Youth work? 

I've always had an interest in youth work, but more as a young person, not a worker. I didn’t really think about the youth workers side, how much planning goes into it. Am understanding that now. It’s a lot more than I thought to be honest. I thought they just put on a session, but there is a lot of planning that goes on.  

It's clear the staff all care a lot about young people and not sure as a young person that I fully realised that. You think that they're just here to work, but they really do care.

What do you like about growing up in Knowle West? 

Best thing is that in many ways we are like a family really. We always support each other. If there’s a problem people do help.

What would you say are the key challenges for young people growing up there?

I think there are some bad influences. You do see some people out on the streets not doing much, even causing trouble, and some think it's fine. That it’s normal for Knowle West. So young people think I'm going to be doing that when I'm older.

So they kind of want to copy the behaviour, even becoming like a competition to be the worst. And might even mimic that person cause they are scared of him or her. But it shouldn’t be like that.

Also a lot of it is boredom. Just hanging about. So maybe we could do more stuff for them to get them off the streets.

Because of your age do you feel you can connect with young people in your role?

Yeah, most definitely because I can relate. I see things in their eyes as much as a youth worker. And I think some people may be more comfortable to actually come and talk to me because I'm still young and not as intimidating as an older person could perhaps be. They can let their guard down a bit because you're sort of closer in age, and I know the local issues too.

Could the transition from being seen as a young person to now a youth worker come with some challenges though 

Yeah. I would go to seniors as a young person all the time and then some people come in to different activities with jokes, swear and mess about with me and stuff. And now I have to be like, ‘I'm not here as a young person anymore. I'm a worker.’ In their eyes am still a young person though, so it may take a while for them to get used to it. And me too!

I mean also they might say stuff that’s sensitive, and I need to be careful and warn them, that because now I am an apprentice some of it I might have to report back to my manager.

The fancy main course dinner at the Bristol Young Heroes awards - Macy in centre with dark pin striped jacket

Does the apprenticeship that you're doing come with written work and learning around it? 

Yes I've got to do online training, which is a part of the apprenticeship, and am looking forward to it. Getting to understand some of this stuff alongside learning on the job.

So you are excited by the new role? 

Yes definitely, there are lots of exciting things to come and am enjoying getting stuck into it so far.

Good luck to Macy in her new apprenticeship role with Youth Moves.