Larry Parsons - Youth Work and the Spark of the Divine

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Youth Work and the Spark of the Divine - Based on interviews with Peter Cutts I knew when I first encountered Larry Parsons that this was a very special person. I met him in the mid-1980’s and was immediately caught by his startling blue eyes peering over his glasses on the edge of his nose. His eyes seemed to touch my spirit and soul. If the heart of the Rank Charities’ policies lay in care and compassion, then Larry lay at its very centre. My friendship and love for him rapidly grew, as did one of the most stimulating professional partnerships I have enjoyed in my working career. Larry talks of ‘fanning the flame’ and then protecting it. He talks about “inspiring leadership within the peer group as essential to rejuvenating the community”. He talks about “helping young people who are perhaps unemployed, apathetic and drifting, to dream dreams, to discover that spark within them and to rise up from the ground, and in their turn inspire others, and to show them that they have the power to make life worth living”. All this lies at the very centre of youth and community work and, indeed, education. Education has always been at the core of my own career. It is such a powerful tool. Larry is an educationalist. He challenges with ideas, he sees the management of change as crucial to the future and leaves dialogue in his wake, helping to create true consideration for others. He commands respect. This booklet is based on recorded interviews with Peter Cutts. It speaks for itself. Youth workers touch lives and can foster true and organic relationships. Our friendship and professional association and partnership have been a true privilege. Charlie Harris Director of Youth Projects for England and Wales The Rank Foundation


Peter Cutts

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