So, I moved on from my first job as a probation officer to a social worker role in a new city.
It is interesting as I look back to see how much of this stepping out into a wider world involved a continuation of my development from sheltered immaturity combined with the impact of the organisational culture within which I worked. In the probation service, in a city where I had been a child, I felt increasingly constrained by the same kind of protected worlds – Methodism and the Probation Service both seemed to provide a home out of which I needed to grow. Both had a sort of sheepish approach to the world, critical of established powers but huddling for safety to what was known. I had grown up in them both but could not feel a full adult within either at that stage – Oxford had given me a taste of something more ambitious and glamorous, sure of itself in the corridors of power and it connected with the ambition inside me. That personal drive needed the support of a new organisational culture, and in some ways therefore I found myself in all kinds of situations in Milton Keynes that I may have feared to take on just out of personal commitment.