Has your nonprofit received a grant to engage youth? Does your local conference need a keynote speaker? Do the staff in your agency need professional development? Contact me today to talk about what The Freechild Project can do for you!
Leelah Alcorn’s death was practically a murder. It shows how America’s legal system, which enshrines parental rights above children’s rights, has killed another young person.
More importantly though, we need to see that Leelah’s murder is our fault. We have not done enough, taught enough, said enough, or worked hard enough to stop this horror from happening. And it is a horror, and it was preventable.
Discrimination Against Youth
Leelah’s story shows us- yet again- the discrimination against youth that seems inherent in our society. The horribly preventable circumstance that led to Leelah’s death are unfortunately the norm for every single American youth today, regardless of how they identify. The fact that Leelah identified as trans exacerbated that reality for her. Follow me: Every single American youth today is targeted in the most malicious ways throughout society simply for being young. This is the case whether they are cis, straight or queer; wealthy, poor or working class; academically gifted, creatively driven or athletically poised. Youth are singularly denied their rights, oppressed for their identities, conscripted for their abilities, and completely downtrodden because of their because of their ages and our society. And its merely and entirely about their age.
Add distinguishing factors to their age such as race, gender identity, socio-economic class, and academic ability, and youth move from being “merely” enslaved to entirely oppressed. The enslaving factory of this adultocracy is so deeply entrenched that parents, teachers, youth workers and many many people who call themselves youth allies merely perpetuate it without ever knowing it. My book focuses on helping these individuals see beyond their own lenses and aspire to be something greater.
The most effective piece of this article focuses on you. Its what David Bond from The Trevor Project said at the end of the piece:
However, Bond told me, even just one supportive adult in a LGBT teen’s life decreases suicidal ideation. “Be consistent in that person’s life and check in in a genuine way – and don’t be afraid to ask if they’re thinking of killing themselves,” Bond advised would-be allies.
“There’s a misconception that if you ask the question you’re going to put the idea in someone’s head. But it’s more often a helpful question than a harmful one.”
Whatever the answer – and I believe more states banning so-called conversion therapy and easier legal and financial avenues for emancipation, especially for older teens, should be a big part of that – we need more action now.
“A year feels like forever when you’re young,” PFLAG’s Sanchez told me. It’s no longer good enough to remind LGBT kids that “it gets better”. We need to figure out more legal, safe alternatives for those who can’t wait that long.
Everyone of us can take action and do something about this, but we have to face the reality that everyone of us is responsible for Leelah’s death (and the unnoted deaths of so many other American youth) first, and then work from that place. THAT is the work to do, no matter who we are.
And none of that is meant to take away, minimize or otherwise continue the oppression of trans, cis, or anyone who identifies as “other” throughout society. Its meant to highlight the compounding factors that are attempting to decimate peoples’ senses of ability, possibility and hope. We can do better than mere survival, and Leelah’s story demonstrates another way that can happen. Each of us can take action.
America’s legal system must act to do several things:
- Stop allowing abusive parents to kill youth;
- Stop devious judges from profiteering off youth imprisonment;
- Stop racist and classist educators from reinforcing the school-to-prison pipeline;
- Stop social workers from placing youth in harms way;
- Stop police from arbitrarily enforcing laws against youth;
- Change laws to allow all youth everywhere to choose their living situations;
- Develop a guaranteed income for all youth, everywhere;
- Prevent youth oppression by acknowledging the full personhood of children and youth from birth.
When these things happen, horrific and preventable deaths like what happened to Leelah Alcorn will not happen again. But not before then. If you really want to change the situation, join the struggle to end discrimination against young people.
Thanks, Kate, for calling me to write about this.
Its important for all of us to balance our talk with our walk. Since I started writing this blog back in 2007, I’ve worked with a lot of different organizations to promote youth engagement. I’ve done it as a consultant, as a nonprofit staff member, as a state government worker, and in a few other capacities too. I think its important to keep my feet on the ground, even if my head is in the clouds!
Today is an example of my practice. Consulting the City of Olympia, I’ve been running a project focused on youth involvement in a new city park located in downtown. Its atypical for a number of reasons, primarily among which are its location and the users there so far. Sited around a popular artesian well, the park is essentially a slab of asphalt packed between two single story buildings. A cool design element in the form of a mosiac has been placed, but City investment in the space has been minimal so far.
Drawing together several youth engagement practitioners a few weeks ago, I gathered a massive list of wants that would encourage these organizations and programs to use the space in an ongoing fashion. That would populate the park with regular, pro-social values that would more accurately reflect Olympia’s values. However, that’s not the whole solution.
I’m facilitating an All Youth Forum in the park today. We’re expecting dozens of young people, and I’m looking forward to a simple, straight-forward conversation. I’ll report on that tomorrow. For now, here’s the flyer I designed for the event today:
The other week I published 16 Capacities to Change the World. So many of you responded so awesomely to it, that I have been thinking over each item carefully for the last week. Today, I’m going to elaborate on each point and add some more to the list.
I call these items “capacities” because they provide definition to our vessel in life. They determine what we can do, who we can be, and where we are. Each of us is absolutely limitless in our capacities. The following attributes are what I’ve experienced and observed are useful when working to change the world.
The Original List
You’ll remember that the list included these items: Change Management; Humility; Collaboration & Teamwork; Conflict Management; Decision-Making; Diversity & Cultural Competency; Coaching; Motivating & Empowering; Personal & Professional Goal Development; Knowledge Management; Problem-Solving; Training & Facilitation; Verbal & Written Communication/Public Presentation; Personal Engagement; Compassion; and Systems Thinking.
In the original list I was originally considering the skills that a person needed in order to be a successful change agent; you’ll see that I began to add on the dispositions I know are important at the end.
The 18 expanding capacities are Challenge; Focused; Deliberate; Facilitate; Release; Listen; Simple; Action; Help; Amaze; Driven; Funny; Bold; Learning; Openness; Community; Passion; and Humility.
- Humility: Despite all the things I may have accomplished in the past, there will always be challenges ahead. No matter what happens, I want to always respectful towards everyone. I love to celebrate my successes, but not in an arrogant or boastful way. I believe in a quiet confidence because in the long run my character will speak for itself. I strive for humility.
- Passion: What keeps me going? It’s passion for engaging people. I’m inspired because I believe in what I am doing and where I’m going – even when I don’t know where that is! I don’t take “that’ll never work” for an answer. A lot of people tell me that the Engagement Revolution will never happen; imagine if I had listened to them so far! I have a positive and optimistic attitude because I have open eyes and am inspired by everyone around me. I am passionate.
- Community: I want to build community, not just colleagues. I serve children, youth, adults, and organizations by removing obstacles and enabling people to succeed on their own terms. The best decisions and ideas are made by people who take action, and I want to foster action among people. I collaborate with people and organizations to address the challenges in their worlds. Beyond that, I watch out for my community and care for others. I work together and play together with my community because our bonds go beyond the typical consultant/coach/trainer/
speaker relationship. I work to build community.
- Openness: I am an open book. My availability and vulnerability can lead to creating strong relationships built on trust and courage. I can use these strong relationships to accomplish so much more than I can otherwise. It’s not easy getting there! I strive to always act with integrity, be compassionate and loyal, and try to be a good listener. At the end of the day it’s not what I say or do, but how I make people feel that matters the most. I cares about others, both personally and professionally. Peeling away the layers, I work to be open.
- Learning: I work to S-T-R-E-T-C-H myself both personally and professionally. I see the differences between being stuck in a rut and moving through a groove. I know everyone, including me, has more potential than we ever realize. I work to constantly unlock that potential, both in myself and the people I work with. I will never “get it right,” and that’s a reality I gladly accept. The only way I can solve new problems that arise is by learning and growing myself to meet them head-on. I am learning.
- Bold: I am bold and try not to be reckless. I’m not afraid to make mistakes because that’s one way I learn. I take appropriate risks and I encourage others to take risks too, and I use my risks to make better decision. I believe gut feelings. Everyone can develop gut feelings about decisions as long as they are open to new ideas and can allow failure to happen.
- Funny: I have a sense of humor, and I know it’s good to laugh at myself frequently. Living shouldn’t be drudgery or toil. I can fun and be goofy even when there’s work to get done, and I get lots done. Being a little goofy requires being a little innovative, and I am always looking for a chance to fully engage in my life and bring out the fun and goofy side of it.
- Driven: I constantly change and embrace it with open arms. I never accept status quo and I’m always thinking of ways to change processes, perspectives, and opinions, hopefully for the better. Without change, I can’t continue to be useful to myself or other people. I am driven.
- Amaze: I think anything worth doing is worth doing to amaze. To amaze, I differentiate myself by doing things in an unconventional and innovative way. I go above and beyond the average level of action to create an emotional impact on people and organizations and to give them a positive story they can take with them the rest of their lives. I seek to amaze.
- Help: Help is a key word for me. I offer it and ask for it often. Often, I can’t do everything required in a project, so in a large part, part of my livelihood is helping others do their projects successfully. I am not expected to know all the answers, but I know where I can go to ﬁnd them, and I share that with others. I help myself help others.
- Action: I avoid the risk of not trying and the regret of wishing I had done something. When I was young, I knew that it would be far more haunting to live with the regret of having not followed my instincts than to have followed my gut and failed. I have lived in action and done risky things. I see my ideas when I have them and make note of them. That’s why I always have a notepad. If I think an idea is compelling, I go after it. We live life only once, and we all die too soon. I always try. I take action.
- Simple: More and more, I realize the power of simplicity. Since I am in the business of ideas, I want to share them as effectively as I can in our complex world. I do that by being simple. It takes more mental space for me to create something simple or communicate something complicated in basic terms, but ultimately, that’s what people want. I don’t need to explain everything the first time around. I need to facilitate the best tailored learning experience for you and your organization or community. I always need to break down knowledge into easily digestible, clear statements and actions. I work hard for simplicity.
- Listen: I speak by listening. Instead of rushing to come up with a quick reaction to what someone has said or done, I listen to them. When the time is right, I respond with knowledge. When I was younger, I assumed that the world was more interested in me than I was in it, so I spent most of my time talking. I was generally under-informed, I shared whatever I thought, I tried to be clever, and I thought about what I was going to say instead of listening to what someone else was saying to me. I have learned to slow myself down and engage rather than debate. I take time to really listen to what people say, and I try to learn from everything I hear. I listen to people.
- Release: I have to release everything I do when it’s done, and just let it go. Instead of trying to figure it out, I just let it be and accept that it is what it is, nothing more or less. It doesn’t determine my worth, others don’t validate my choices, and my contributions never go unnoticed, even if it seems like it. I release what I do when it’s done.
- Facilitate: I provide appropriate support to learners. I do not train people, because we don’t do tricks or routine work. Instead, I adapt and contrast, modify and transform. I encourage learners through questions and activities that build confidence, stretch understanding, and foster engagement in learning. I facilitate learning.
- Deliberate: I regularly stop to check my intentions and affirm my actions, so that what I’m doing actually reflects who I am. If I’m not aware of why I do what I do, I am disconnected from what matters to me. If I’m disconnected, I’m ineffective. Staying aware of my intentions and being deliberate allows me to guide my work with purpose, and challenge myself when its time. I am deliberate.
- Focused: I work to change the world, no matter what I’m doing. I do not look for fame or fortune, and I reject greed and deceit. Instead, I constantly look for opportunities to serve others, and I share my energy and efforts as often as I can. I see the ripple effect in everything I do, not just the flashy or huge things. I know every action in my life sets off an entire cascade of responses whose overall impact is huge, and I know this is true for others, too. I am focused.
- Challenge: When a I get too attached to the way things are, I lose the the greatest freedom of all: the freedom to fail. Without feeling like a failure, I don’t have to assume that a slight misstep is a deep plunge into the abyss. Instead, I step forward to challenges and see them each as an opportunity to innovate using a smart idea or strategic thinking. When I’m stepping up to challenges, I accept that failure is going to happen while I’m growing. Ultimately, I won’t become a better person because of how I respond to success, but instead, what I do with failure. I accept the challenge.
The entire list of capacities to change the world is now: Change Management; Humility; Collaboration & Teamwork; Conflict Management; Decision-Making; Diversity & Cultural Competency; Coaching; Motivating & Empowering; Personal & Professional Goal Development; Knowledge Management; Problem-Solving; Training & Facilitation; Verbal & Written Communication/Public Presentation; Personal Engagement; Compassion; Systems Thinking; Challenge; Focused; Deliberate; Facilitate; Release; Listen; Simple; Action; Help; Amaze; Driven; Funny; Bold; Learning; Openness; Community; Passion; and Humility.
Respond to these capacities in the comments section below and let me know what you think!
How to Promote Youth Engagement in Organizations
1) Share Youth Engagement.
- Talk with your supervisor, Executive Director, board members, and other decision-makers.
- Build support by talking to staff members about youth engagement.
- Train young people about youth engagement, why it matters, and how they can experience it more.
- Research resources that might help different people in different roles throughout your organization understand youth engagement more.
- Pass along useful websites, materials, and other info with people who care or need to know.
2) Advocate Action.
- Explore policy-making in your organization, and advocate for changes that reflect a commitment to sustained youth engagement through programs and throughout the organization.
- Create an action plan that focuses on sustained programs and projects.
- Be a constant and strong champion for youth engagement throughout your program or organization.
- Remember Gandhi’s idiom, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” If you want youth engagement in your program or organization, start engaging youth personally right now.
- Start leading activities and programs that foster youth engagement right now. Build youth engagement on the personal level for young people, then solidify it throughout your organization.
- Strengthen your knowledge about youth engagement and then facilitate opportunities for others to learn about it.
- Create safe space to engage diverse youth and adults in critical thinking and cultural examinations.
- Actively engage young people and adults in frank, open conversations about the activity, program, or organization.
- Ask questions that inquire further into peoples’ assumptions or beliefs, and foster new understanding through having everyone share their experiences and opinions as applicable.
- Ask hard questions about beliefs, understanding, and outcomes.
- Examine new opportunities to talk change.
Recently, I’ve been working with a group of traditional, mainline youth-serving organizations. They offer services to young people living in adverse situations, including homelessness, family disruptions, addiction, and other circumstances. The activities generally fall into the realms of intervention, education, and employment.
Working with them to establish new approaches to their work, I have been slowly introduce my conceptual frameworks focused on youth engagement, especially how I wrote about the subject in my publication, A Short Introduction to Youth Engagement. When I wrote the Short Intro…, I intentionally didn’t cover many important aspects of moving forward with the concept. Here’s one area that wasn’t addressed.
These are steps that I’ve followed for more than a decade as I’ve taught, trained, advocated for, and lived through many, many youth engagement programs and projects. They’re also what I’m using right now to help others promote this vital concept, too.
You can also interview me for your blog, write an article about the book, or line me up with any of your contacts to do the same. Contact me today!
When adults are talking rude to young people, they show patronizing superiority. Many parents, youth workers, teachers, and others are not aware of how rude they are towards children and youth.
Most adults would be shocked if young people were as rude towards them as they are towards young people. When we’re confronted by a brave youth, we usually deny it (“that’s not what I meant”, or “you’re being too sensitive”).
However, even well-meaning adults can say things to youth with good intentions that come across as rude. Because of their past experiences, social conditioning, peer influence, and other reasons, most youth are really hesitant to share their real feelings with adults. Because of that, most parents, teachers, youth workers, and other adults who work with youth may never know how they talk towards youth.
Here are eight rude things adults often say to youth. Whenever you say them, its going to sound rude.
8 Rude Things Adults Say to Young People
Whatever the case, just beware that if you’re working with young people, you probably sound rude today.
1. “I’m not a creative youth like Lavonia here is, so she should do that!” I really doubt that Lavonia loves slogging through mundane details any more than you do, but she has to – as a youth council member or youth staff, it’s her job and not yours, so she does it. She takes pride in what she does too, and does it well. So don’t call her out in front of other adults and youth as a “detail” youth, as if that’s her job as a youth, and then congratulate yourself for being an adult who knows the “big picture”. A similar condensing bit of “praise” for youth is something like, “Hey, let me introduce you to Juan – he’s the one who really runs things around here, not me (snicker, wink).” No, he doesn’t really. You’re an adult, and you run things. Juan is just doing his job as a youth council member, stuff he’s supposed to do. Don’t pretend otherwise.
3. “It’s for your own good.” That makes adults the only people who can decide what is good for young people? Children and youth should be expected to have a serious, meaningful role in determining their “own good”.
4. “Well, that sounds good in theory, but in the real world….” So what world are you saying the young people your are talking to are from? You might want to take some time to hear young peoples’ “theory” out and check your assumptions at the door – the children and youth around you might be more real than you.
5. “We’ll look into that,” “I’ll think about that,” or “You’ll have to work that out on your own.” Noncommittal answers dismiss youth and imply they aren’t worth the time, honesty, and effort of adults. Also, again, you’re missing a great opportunity to coach. Ultimately, that’s your job – to coach and guide the young people around you.
6. “I know you’re feeling ______ right now, but you really shouldn’t because…” Never assume you know what young people are feeling or tell them how they should be feeling. Ask them how they feel, and acknowledge it by responding with empathy.
7. “You’ll understand when you’re older,” or “When I was your age…” Well, maybe young people do understand you right now, and just don’t agree with you. Try finding out why and you might learn something. Taking this approach creates a line of separation between young people and adults and invalidates what children and youth are experiencing right now.
8. “Kid” or “Homie” or “Sweetie” or “Dude” Many young people prefer to be called by their first names – but its always a good practice to ask individual people what they’d like to be called.
MORE RUDE THINGS ADULTS SAY TO YOUTH: (thanks to all the folks who contributed on the ENDING DISCRIMINATION AGAINST YOUNG PEOPLE Facebook page!): “I brought you into this world, and I can also take you out!” ”You’re so smart for fifteen!” “When are you going to grow up?” “Don’t touch that, you’ll break it!” “As long as you are in my house, you’ll do it!” “You’re being childish.” “You’re so stupid (or clumsy, inconsiderate, etc.)!” “Go to your room!” “Don’t ever yell at your mother like that!” (yelling) “She doesn’t understand anything.” (about a baby) “You are too old for that!” “You’re not old enough!” “Oh, it’s only puppy love.” “If you don’t stop crying I’ll give you something to cry about.” “What do you know? You haven’t experienced anything!” “It’s just a stage. You’ll outgrow it.” “Go to your room!” “Don’t ever yell at your mother like that!” (yelling) “Act your age.” “Children should be seen and not heard.” “What do you know, you’re just a kid!” “Do as I say, not as I do.” “You’ll understand it someday, just you wait.” “It’s my house and you’ll follow my rules!” ”Calm down,” “You’re just a kid,” “Grow up!” “These kids are a form of birth control!” “You’re cruisin’ for a bruisin!’” “Did you just do what I saw you do?” “Because I said so.” “Someday I hope you have a kid and she’s just like you.” “Don’t get smart with me.” “You’ll do it and you’ll like it.”
Ground Rules to Stop Rude Adult Talk
One way to set the stage for clear and comfortable communication between young people and adults is to set ground rules when working together. Here is an example of some commonly used ground rules:
- Speak for yourself
- No put-downs
- Take responsibility for your words, your action, and your learning
- Expect unfinished business
- Listen to others and to what you are saying, too
- Show respect
- Have fun
- You have the right to pass at any time in group discussions or activities
Take Action to Stop Rude Talk
- Create Space – Its important to create environments where young people and adults feel comfortable asking questions and being themselves.
- Stop Hesitating – Make sure everyone knows they can stop conversation and ask questions at any point. Make it a norm to inject in the conversation when its appropriate.
- Be Diverse – Celebrate the variety between youth and adults, and among youth, and among adults. AND try to always talk in ways that are understood by everyone in the group.
- Body Language – Be aware of body language and facial expressions. If you are speaking, pay attention to how other people are reacting and ask questions, if you need to.
- Be Comfortable – Use language you are comfortable with. Don’t use jargon or slang just to fit in. Just be sure you’re sensitive to others in the group, no matter what their age.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- How about you? What does rude speech sound like to you?
- Do you speak in a way that everyone can understand what you’re saying – young people? adults? people who speak English as a second language? others?
- Are you aware of the views and perspectives of the young people and adults in the room?
- Do you talk with others respectfully? Do you listen carefully to what they have to say?
- If somebody is speaking with words or in a way that is confusing to me, what should I do?
- When is it okay to use slang or jargon?
Want to do more? Check out my latest book, ENDING DISCRIMINATION AGAINST YOUNG PEOPLE, available now from Amazon.com.
Researching for a presentation in 2013, I identified fewer than 40 youth councils connected with city governments across Washington State. This state has over 280 municipal governments. There were also fewer than 10 counties that had youth councils, and only one state agency reported a youth council, in addition to the Washington Legislative Youth Advisory Council.
Here is the presentation I made:
Youth are everywhere! According to the United Nations, young people between the ages of 12 and 21 account for more than 25% of the world’s population today.
In the United States, the Census reported in 2011 there are over 73 million people under 18 in the United States. 10 to 19 year olds make up more than 14% of the US population.
At that same point, the Census reported that young people ages 10 to 19 make up 13% of Washington’s population.
There are more than 281 municipalities in Washington State, including incorporated towns and cities. Research conducted by the Washington State Legislative Youth Advisory Council has found that only 35 of those municipalities have Youth Councils.
Youth Councils have vast differences, and many different possibilities. Some of the differences depend on where they are located, who is on the Councils, and what the local municipality needs from them.
However, the missions of many Youth Councils aren’t generally informed by research-driven best practices, national trends or patterns, or other factually-based decisions. Instead, they are determined by well-intentioned adults who want to do the right thing, but are limited by their own imaginations, by their city or town leadership’s vision, or the way that everyday people see young people.
However, and luckily, we’re not limited to negative or challenging perceptions of youth. As one community organizer said, “Our youth are not failing the system; the system is failing our youth. Ironically, the very youth who are being treated the worst are the young people who are going to lead us out of this nightmare.” The way they’re going to do this? Youth Councils.
A youth council is a formal or informal body of young people that is driven by advocacy and decision-making. They address the absence of youth involvement in decision-making for any age of young people, with kids as young as 7 and young adults as old as 24 being involved in Youth Councils across Washington State.
There many different kinds of youth councils, including those sponsored by local governments, including towns, cities, and counties; state government agencies and legislatures; local nonprofit and community organizations; and national organizations.
Communities with Youth Councils in Washington
- Des Moines
- Federal Way
- Liberty Lake
- Mercer Island
- Mill Creek
- Oak Harbor
- University Place
The Washington State Legislative Youth Advisory Council had:
- 22 students
- Ages 14-18
- All corners of Washington
- All walks of life.
- Two-year term.
- Meet up to four times per year in Olympia.
- Hold monthly conference calls to discuss projects and goals.
- Hold an annual Action Day to meet with legislators and testify on important youth-related bills.
- Advocate for youth-related bills. In 2013, lobbying efforts helped move three bills to be passed into law.
- Partner with youth groups and organizations.
Other types of organizations have youth advisory councils. They include:
- Community Development
- Workforce Development
- School Districts
- Neighborhood Associations
- Faith Communities
- Ethnic and Cultural Groups
- Performing Arts Orgs
- And many others
Alfie Kohn once said, “Youth should not only be trained to live in a democracy when they grow up; they should have the chance to live in one today.” Youth Councils allow young people to experience democracy in realtime.
The context for youth councils comes from many places. I find poetry inspiring, and in particular, Langston Hughes’ poem Freedom’s Plow:
Thus the dream becomes not one man’s dream alone,
But a community dream.
Not my dream alone, but our dream.
Not my world alone,
But your world and my world,
Belonging to all the hands who build.
Would you build with young people? Youth councils provide one way to get that done.
The book is meant for people who work with middle school and high school youth. If you work with traditional youth leaders, you’ll learn how to move that work forward. If you work with nontraditional youth leaders, you can learn how to engage them in positive, powerful activities that can change your program or organization.
- The Freechild Project Youth-Driven Programming Guide
- By Adam Fletcher
- Price: $11.99
- Order from Amazon.com or request the book from your local bookseller.
“The Youth-Driven Programming Guide is a must read for youth workers in all settings. Adam does a tremendous job of getting straight to the point with a clear message in a concise format that even the busiest of youth workers will be able to make time to read. We operate a Parks & Recreation related youth program that provides multiple youth after school program sites, late night events, a series of dances, and a Youth Commission. This guide is the newest required reading for all volunteers and staff within our program.
—Paul Simmons, Parks and Recreation Director, Cheney, Washington
“I work with groups of young people in Preston, Lancashire, England to have a real voice in decision making in our Impact Youth Groups, co-working with young people training to be Youth Workers and my work in schools and justice projects. The book is an excellent informal education tool in planning your work young people, supporting the work you, developed with young people in a simple understanding education tool, creates fun in learning, while young people can be given a real voice with support, in their social education learning and decision making experiences.”
—Terry Mattinson, youth worker, Preston, Lancashire, United Kingdom