Meet our SPPA Youth Ambassador Tia Abrahams. Tia has been supported by St Christopher’s Fellowship, a charity creating bright futures and providing support for children and young people. She took part in SPPA’s campaign on social pedagogy and wellbeing and spoke at our parliamentary reception in November 2018 in Westminster about the impact social pedagogy has had on her.

I have lived in four very different semi accommodations in very different parts of London. I feel fortunate to have acquired the knowledge on how to ‘survive’ the transition from supported to independent accommodation and how to support people who are going through this process. In my experience, social pedagogy is one of the key factors that help people in the support sector.

As a young adult I have a range of interests such as exploring my surroundings and visiting new places, updating with the daily celebrity gossip and basketball. Basketball was a huge thing in one of my homes. It was an activity where everyone came together regardless of age, ethnicity or gender and got everyone outdoors. Personally, playing basketball once a week helped me improve my communication skills greatly and gave me confidence, which resulted in me making ever-lasting, positive relationships with others. I don’t know where I would be by now if I didn’t take part in basketball! I’d probably be spending the majority of my afternoons watching The Real Housewives and alternating between a tub of vanilla and strawberry ice cream!

I have spoken to many people about social pedagogy and apart from how to correctly pronounce it the second most asked question I’m asked is ‘what actually is social pedagogy?’ and each time my response is the same: leaving your comfort zone and trying something that you’d usually say no to, building relationships, and not only experiencing, but embracing what life throws at you and in the process of this – developing yourself physically and mentally.

I am a SPPA ambassador because I believe that I am who young people and service users can relate to. I have lived a pretty colourful life and have experienced a wide range of things — some good, and some not. I’ve dealt with many of the stresses and anxieties life throws at you on a daily basis and I want to be able to share with others what works and what doesn’t work best when working with service users. I feel I can bring a fresh, fun and bubbly perspective to SPPA and hope people would feel welcome to come to me for help and advice on what can be done.