The YPL #2 – The Bookshelf

Things have progressed in the past few weeks and we now have a sort of  library on the go. We took a ramshackle old bookshelf that had been sitting in a bathroom corner gathering dust and spiders and gave it quite the paint job, the young people were relatively dubious about my colour choice but now do agree that it looks great.

We’ve got a fair number of books on the shelf, with more on their way. Young people have begun borrowing already which has been great to see too!

Over the next few weeks we’re going to fill up those shelves, and some of the young people are going to make some art to put on the shelves too. It’s looking beautiful and young people are reading books – what more is there to wish for?




I worked it out in my diary today and the last day I had a day with absolutely no plans whatsoever was on Saturday the 17th of March. I’ve obviously had days off since then but with two volunteer jobs and moving house, a hen weekend, conferences, a work trip and various other work things days off can disappear quickly.

So when my mum asked me last night what my plans were for today my response was “sleep, reading, more sleep and more reading” and I was not joking,

It’s 10:30pm right now and I have had a lovely day of achieving very little. I’ve watched far too much “999 Whats Your Emergency”, read “The Hate U Give”, went on a wee walk when I really wanted apple juice, had a nap with my cat and played Minecraft. I’ve barely spoken to anyone and I don’t regret it one bit.

I’m not sure if self care guru’s would class this as good self care but I can tell you one thing, when I go into work tomorrow I will be in a far better mood than I would have been if I had spent the day busy.

So you take a day to be self indulgent and lazy if it works for you. And if someone tells you that you’ve wasted your day off you just tell them to shove it!



The Leadership Conference.

As a Christian (have I mentioned this before? If not fyi, I’m a Christian), particularly a Christian who works for a Christian organisation I go to A LOT of conferences and training events.

This month was the big one, the HTB Leadership Conference, two days in London with around 4000 other Christians at the Royal Albert Hall. Pretty amazing.

I went last year too and it was incredible, this year was no different. There is so much to unpack from this conference but for today I thought I would just give honourable mentions to some of the speakers from the past two years that you all should check out (religious or not, i’m not trying convert you don’t worry!)


Bryan Stevenson

This man is my new found hero. Bryan Stevenson is an American lawyer, social justice activist, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, and a clinical professor at New York University School of Law. His speech at the conference had people in tears, a massive standing ovation and left people shell shocked and inspired. What an incredible man doing such incredible work.

Check out: Ted TalkWork, Book, Website


Immaculee Ilibagiza

Immaculee is one of the strongest women I have ever had the honour to hear speak, she is a survivor of the Rwandan Genocide and has spent her life trying to spread peace and forgiveness. As she said “If I can forgive, so can you”

Check out: Website, Book 1, Book 2,


Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek spoke at last years conference and was absolutely brilliant. I’ve finally picked up a couple of his books to read. He is a motivational speaker and marketing consultant who’s focus is leadership. What a guy.

Check out: Ted Talk, Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Website, Interview




YPL #1.

The Youth Project’s Library collection has begun!

In the past few days I have visited a tonne of charity shops and picked up a few books for the YPL. They are all books I have read as this makes the recommending process easier!

So far we have:

The Railway Children – E. Nesbit

Double Act – Jacqueline Wilson

The Silver Sword – Ian Serraillier

The Bad Beginning – Lemony Snicket

Not a bad wee haul, especially for £1 per book, I’m looking forward to getting the library up and running. Next step is the upcycling of our old book shelf so our hauls have somewhere to live!


The Youth Project’s Library.

As a book lover I knew as soon as I started working at my local project that eventually I would get some kind of bookshelf/library on the go. This week I’ve finally started going round my local charity shops and collecting some books for my little library project.

Lots of the young people we work with don’t read books, or only do when they have to for school. I’m on a one woman mission to try and change that. Books offer an escape from the world around us and so many young people would love that. Often young people have been put off reading by experiences at school, where they’ve been made to read books, or not understood the books they’ve been told to read and lost confidence.

My aim is to create a collection of books with stories that grab the readers attention, that don’t require a big vocabulary or ability to understand ‘literary’ books. My aim is then for the collection of books available to grow and develop as the young people learn what they like to read and want to try different books out. At the moment I’m buying books I’ve read and loved, mainly so I have a better idea of who to pitch the books to and I can be assured they are appropriate! I’ve always read a lot of books and from all types of genres so I think I’ve got a good starting base there!

So here begins the YPL (Youth Project’s Library), my plan is to do hauls as I find books so looks out for YPL hauls coming soon!




Going backwards to go forwards.

I’m 24 and I’ve just moved back in with my parents. Not a sentence 17 year old Katherine would have ever expected to say.

My cousins were up visiting recently and my little cousin who’s a teenager said something along the lines of “once I move out to go to uni I’m never moving back”. My sister and I both laughed because we both know it’s probably not going to happen like that. But I remember thinking the same thing, I was that naive and cocky once too!

When I finished uni I moved home for a year a half until I had a job that was earning me enough to move out, now a year a half later I’m moving home again. It feels a bit like a failure every time, like somehow moving back in means I’ve failed at adulting. I realise this is 100% a first world problem and I am utterly privileged to have parents who are around and able to let me move back in. I honestly know that.

But I’m trying to think about it differently.

Because I haven’t moved home because I’m going backwards. I’ve moved home because I’m about to take one heck of a step forwards. I’m buying a house. A house bought by me for me. And if I have to move back to my parents for a few months while I buy that house then so be it!

So here’s to occasionally going back if it means being able to go forward!