Blogging for and about Youth Work and Young People



Welcome to my Blog.I’m Hilary Mason and I work for West Sussex County Council as a Service Manager with the Youth Support and Development Service (yes we still have one here!!).

Having seen a presentation by MediasnackersI decided to have a look at various bits of social networking and see if I could master some of the up and coming forms of communication. I’m also keen to see how useful they can be in youth work, networking with other Youth work professionals. So here it goes…..let the xperiment begin!

I have been in post for just over 6 years now. Prior to this I was involved in youth work in various charities. Lady BeaverbrookI started out in the Outdoor Education sector involved in centre and school based work. From there I moved into sailing and worked for a long time for the then Ocean Youth Club, a sail training organisation,  which became Ocean Youth Trust. Predominantly involved with the Scottish area I also developed a number of youth training programmes and started becoming more interested in personal development and how this could be maximised in this environment. 

I then worked for Raleigh International , a Youth Development Charity running expeditions overseas for around 7 years. At Raleigh I started out doing face to face youth work facilitating the Raleigh International Millennium Awards in Leeds araleigh_logond Cardiff and then moved up to London to run the Volunteer Expedition Staff Office and then became Director of Operations. This sort of work has remained a passion for me and consequently I am very interested in developing opportunities for young people to have international and european experiences.

Having lived life very much in the charitable sector (and in a few more roles than I’ve indicated here) I was bemused and amazed when I entered the public sector. It’s been and continues to be an interesting experience.

A bit about West Sussex

With a population of 64,500 young people aged 13-19 West Sussex is located on the coast of central southern England, within easy reach of London. There are four coastal districts: Chichester, Arun, Worthing and Adur, while Mid Sussex, Crawley and Horsham lie to the North forming the Gatwick Diamond. More than half of the County is in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, while the West Sussex Coast stretches for 68 miles. However there are specific pockets of deprivation identified as Super Output Areas (SOAs). West Sussex has 9 SOAs that are ranked within the worst 20% of all SOAs in England, all located along the coastal strip.

As with most youth services we have experienced substantial change over the past year and will continue to do so over the next few years as government direction changes and the implementation of the “big society”. I am currently the strategic lead for Looked After Children, Marketing and Communications (our website), Equalities and Access for vulnerable groups (including Young Carers, LGBT, BME, LGBT and Travelling young people), and Think Family… small task then!


This is my blog, I am experimenting to see if it will / can expand my networks and to understand more about the importance of online networking and reflection. Therefore anything I write is my own view and not that of West Sussex County Council or West Sussex Youth Service. I will endeavour to be as open and honest as I can but please bear with me if I sometimes use couched terms!!

Hope this gives a bit more detail!


Comments on: "About" (11)

  1. bobbiejane said:

    Welcome to the blogosphere!

    I am keen to follow your blog since I mainly deliver music workshops for young people. Keep up the good work!


  2. Hilary
    have just been forwarded your blog in context of doing work for a local authority on youth support and development service. Well done – its inspiring and attractive.

  3. Hi Hilary,

    It’s great to see another West Sussex youth work blogger, and one from the statutory sector too! Hopefully this experiment will encourage other professional workers to get into online media. Give me a shout next time you’re in Littlehampton!

  4. billybean said:

    Thanks! I’ll pop over to your site to have a look too. It’s an exciting time exploring all this media and working out how we can use it to develop and support our youth work.

    Hope to catch up with you sometime

  5. Hi Hilary,

    I’m working on a campaign at the minute for V-Cashpoint, in which 16-25 Year olds can get £2,500 for sharing their skills with others!

    V-Cashpoint are giving away a million pounds worth of grant to young people who want to make a difference in their community. To support this they’ve produced a film that you can watch at:

    I thought the readers of your site and yourself might be interested in this campaign, and it would be great if you could let them know details of it. I’ve included the embed code of the film below in case you would like to put the film on your site:

    Thanks very much,


  6. Sam Reynolds said:

    Hi Hilary

    I was wondering if you can help spread the word about our Young Peoples showcase!

    I’m a PT youth work at the centres in Maldon and Burnham and I have been working alongside 2 groups of young people. These 2 groups have set up a Hip Hop dance group called DanceFusion which have been performing in their local community. They are now setting up a dance show case, where they would like to ask other dance youth group across Essex to showcase their work in one big show. If you know of any groups (aged 13 to 19) that might be interested in taking part could you please ask them to contact Janet Thomas (Full time Youth Worker) – Maldon TASCC

    Thanks very much


  7. Hello Hilary,

    Interactive web comics are a great way to inspire and motivate youth. is a website where you create comics without having to draw! You can design every aspect of your character, and move it into any pose you want. All you have to do is click-and-drag to change or reposition any part of it – the creative and artistic possibilities are endless!

    Share with others, post to blog with our animated widget or remix comics to add your own twist. Read comics in over 40 languages, with our automatic translation by Google. Our language filtering system helps make Pixton a fun for all! Sign-up is free.

    We welcome you to try it and tell us what you think.


    Clive Goodinson
    Creator of Pixton

  8. Hi, I sailed on Flamouth Packet a few times 1983 and 84, I was in PLymouth with the RAF at Mount Batten, I did five weeks end 83 as bosun on leaving the RAF, Andy Brown was Skipper then Dave Crawford took over. We all Agree Falmouth Packet is Magic.

    I know West Sussex also
    Fair Winds


    • Richard edwards said:

      hi there, so did I, around the same time, we went to france and Guernsey for a few days it was nice apart from the trip back to Plymouth as it was quite rough and I wasn’t a good crew member drop me a email if you like cheers Richard Edwards

  9. Hi,

    I have been reading the blog with great interest, and I thought I would bring your attention to a project that I am currently working on.

    At Ashoka’s Changemakers we are currently running a project called Changing Lives Through Football. The Changing Lives Through Football competition is open to all individuals and organizations (charitable organizations, private companies, or public entities) from all countries. The scope of the competition is to identify innovative solutions that use football to strengthen community, accelerate development and drive social change. The winners of this competition will be those entries that show true innovation, prove they will deliver real and long term positive social impact, and prove that their business models are sustainable. The 6 winners will receive a share of $90,000.

    To see a list of all entrants to date please go to We have nearly 120 global applicants, with the deadline for entries being 11th June. We have been creating a dialogue with some amazing Changemakers who are using football to change people’s lives.

    If you know of anyone who would like to enter the competition, please direct them to

    On Facebook – Search for Changing Lives Through Football

    Kind Regards,

    Imtiaz Kaderbhoy
    Ashoka Changemakers

  10. Hello! Deutsche Welle is looking for stories of young people from around the world who are making a difference – large or small. Please share your stories on our Generation Change blog.

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