Innovative partnership nationally recognised for its work in the community

Ben taking the opportunity to share with Mayor Juliet Pentolfe his 'battle plan' for a cycle safe road crossing

The Growing Faith Foundation has selected the Sherborne and Shaftesbury Schools Young Leaders project to be one of 12 national learning Hubs and will support & resource them to share their project in North Dorset and beyond in 2023 and 2024.

This partnership of Schools and local churches in Sherborne, Shaftesbury and the surrounding area is supported by the Salisbury Diocese Children and Young Person’s Benefact Trust sponsored community hub project, and is being recognised nationally for its innovative work.

Lizzie Whitbread Salisbury Diocese Senior Adviser for Work with Children and Young People said;

'I am very excited that this work is part of the wider Growing Faith work nationally. I am looking forward to seeing what grows and develops and how the young people lead their communities in this.' 

The Growing Faith Foundation believe and have evidence that if school, church and home act together, a child’s spirituality has the best chance of being nurtured. It an approach endorsed by the National Church and led by Lucy Moore, and exists to advocate for children, young people and families to be at the heart of all the mission and ministry of the Church of England.

Stephanie Rann RE lead at the Gryphon school and the Sherborne and Shaftesbury community project team leader,

“The theme for our hub is believing Children’s and young people’s passion and vision can be a catalyst for change and can make their rural towns and villages a better place to live for everyone. Collaborative projects help us discover and share skills and gifts, and as relationships build by working together, we can also explore faith in new & relevant ways. Reverend Jim Edie, Sherborne Team Vicar and Gryphon School Chaplain said; ‘It is great to be working in the mix at the point where our local young people, with all their energy and ideas, are engaging with their community and having their voices heard.  I look forward to seeing their ideas come to fruition!’

These three Children and Young people’s projects are happening across North Dorset:

  • Children and Young People’s youth voice project to help create ‘Young person friendly’ towns where all feel valued. Young people are working in partnership with Sherborne Town Council to form a Youth council, drawn from all the Church, Community and Public schools of the town, a historic first, and has attracted a 60 strong network of supporters. This partnership will help them input into town decisions. Alongside this schools across Sherborne have begun meeting to plan new and exciting affordable family friendly community events and environmental projects such as a pop-up young person’s clothes swap
  • Young peer mentor schemes are offering pastoral support in schools hugely increasing capacity to support mental health and wellbeing.
  • Two DreamScheme social action holiday projects on housing estates, with resources & support for other towns and villages to give it a go themselves”.

The project wants to learn from and collaborate with anyone working at the intersection of church school and families or who would like to try any of the ideas detailed above. The project will be sharing the ideas from the other Growing Faith Learning hubs and are excited that the Growing Faith Foundation recognises our rural market towns and villages as nationally significant places of creativity, nurture and innovation. Please contact Revd Lorna Johnson to find out more 07469 859994

*The Benefact Trust have sponsored our Community Hub project.

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