21 October, 2022
“Every day you turn up to work, you are influencing youth and positively impacting their futures,” CPL Pegg says.
A Reservist since 2016, she transferred to the Regular Force and joined the tri service Youth Development Unit in 2018.
It was an opportunity to combine her passion for working with young people and a degree in Health, Physical Activity and Wellbeing.
Together, YDU and Cadet Forces deliver courses to more than 6000 young people every year, including the six-week Limited Service Volunteer (LSV) course for unemployed 18-to-24 year olds who are not in study or training.
Youth Development Specialists help motivate trainees and boost their self confidence; teaching teamwork, resilience, and life skills.
CPL Pegg says every day is different and there’s a lot of adventure-based activity, including river crossing training, mountain biking and pack marching.
The lessons flow both ways; CPL Pegg says the young people she’s worked with have influenced who she is today.
“When I first came to YDU as a fresh Lance Corporal in 2018, my go-to reaction to most situations was to raise my voice.
“A lot of the young people and trainees that come through the unit have grown up around people yelling at them constantly, or in some cases come from abusive homes.
“The trainees have taught me how to deliver my message and lead them in a way that they respect me for who I am and choose to listen and follow me.”
She’s also learnt to never take anything for granted.
“We have 17-24 year olds coming onto an LSV course who have recently spent time living on the streets.
“When these trainees turn up to course they are so thankful for having a hot shower, food from the mess, a bed in the barracks and just someone who is there to listen.”
CPL Pegg says it’s important for instructors to have patience and empathy, and trainees appreciate a good sense of humour.
Her advice for anyone considering a posting to YDU - Go for it.