Report: Sept – Dec 14
Drop in/Open Access on Wednesday evenings:
On Wednesday evenings, we are seeing very good development through activities and numbers attending. We had the first real incident in September, when we had to close and re-assess our aims and objectives. This was the first time in two years, which I thought was pretty good. Since then, the young people have responded to the rules, which were put together by them to give them a bit of self-ownership. We see a regular attendance of 30 young people and we have good relationships with each of them.
The partner organisation working with us is ‘One in a Million’, who have given a 2-3 year commitment to the area and are bringing good youth work and resources to enhance the project. We have just started a School of Rock where we have drums, guitars and keyboards and this is being taught to the young people in six weeks. This has had an excellent start and will also be a boost for Friday Live.
Friday Live on Friday evenings:
This had a slow start but is now really picking up momentum. The idea of the project is that it teaches skills to young people e.g. media production, soloist skills and performance skills, with a view to performing before an audience.
The project is not open access, as it is a development programme. The young people sign up to a twelve week programme and longer and hopefully gain a qualification and skill through what they learn. One individual has done this and gained a qualification through One in a Million by attending each week, outside of Wednesday evenings. He has just attended a celebration at The Midland Hotel and gained recognition for his achievement. Friday Live has worked very well as a follow up programme from the Wednesday evening and it is bearing a lot of fruit.
Extreme Explorers (St Anthony’s Primary School):
This is a Christian programme that is delivered every Wednesday, as an after-school club seeing an attendance of 30 kids each week. This has run successfully for the past 4 years and seen approx. 120 kids come through the after-school club, regularly committed. Each week we sing songs, develop their faith and challenge the young people to be like Christ in their community.
Development coaching in Schools (Christchurch Academy & St Anthony’s):
This is a tough delivery programme dealing with individual issues ranging from severe behaviour to social interaction with their peers. The programme has been very successful over the last few years and has been a good method for building lasting relationships with young people. A BIG positive is that I have started in Christchurch Academy in the past two weeks and begun to make a difference in individual lives. The young person I worked with last Friday showed excellent development within the playground and good work, that was fed back to the headteacher. The young person said to the head that I was the best teacher in the school! This shows good working practice and relational working at its best and a good foundation for future work. I would ask for your prayers specifically for the head, as she is doing a very tough job and doing it very well. It is a pleasure to work alongside such a caring head, who treats them as individuals and shows a caring spirit. This is showing Christ’s love to others. Also from the Wednesday drop-in at the church, a lot of kids in the school already know me, which is fantastic.
Development Centre (A Dream):
Finally I want to share with you a possibility for the future, as I feel we are taking steps in this direction. Dealing with young people in the area, I have found that they have significant issues such as self-esteem, confidence etc. They currently receive very little support or advice in this area. I have recently started working with one or two young people, but what I would like to see develop is a Development Centre, where we would take young people and give them advice in three key areas of life: career, emotional development and exploring faith. Giving the young person skills for the future, through gaining qualifications, giving support and advice regarding their emotional state and sharing with them about faith. Through all this, the young people would gain hope and a future in the kingdom of God. This needs a lot of prayer, so please would you pray for this!
Finally a big Thank You to all who support, pray and encourage the work in this area. It is a great help to know that I have an army of supportive people.
Emerge Youth Worker