Christ for our Youth

by Gerry Lynch last modified 07 Apr, 2016 05:06 PM

Wiltshire Youth for Christ goes from strength to strength

Now established for several years, Wiltshire Youth for Christ is going from strength to strength, helping young people to be all that they can be, fulfilling their potential,and offering them the opportunity to explore the Christian faith for themselves.

They plan to showcase their work at an event in Holy Trinity, Trowbridge, on Tuesday 12 April.

Officially, Wiltshire YFC launched in October 2014, however their work in Wiltshire began in 2011 with Steve Dewar’s appointment as a youth worker in the parish of Potterne, Worton and Marston. This appointment and securing of additional funding that prompted YFC to spend a year listening to young people, youth work volunteers church leaders and others. This led them to recruit another worker in Trowbridge and develop Wiltshire YFC.

Among the projects run by Wiltshire YFC are the youth café in Potterne; a youth club in Trowbridge; discipleship groups for teenagers wanting to deepen their faith at St Thomas’, Trowbridge; mentoring in local schools; supporting schools in running assemblies and RE; and resourcing local churches.

“The schools in Trowbridge have been particularly pleased with our mentoring work in local schools”, says James Vaughton, Director of Wiltshire and Bath Youth For Christ, “This work, they have told us, is critical and really making a difference. One young man in particular comes to mind, who is facing all sorts of challenges inside and outside school. Dan, our worker in the school, is the one person he can open up to and share how he is feeling.”

With council youth services budgets currently cut to the bone, the Diocese is now the largest provider of youth services in Dorset and Wiltshire, and other church and parachurch bodies like Youth For Christ are also major providers. Local officials report great appreciation for the work they do and their professionalism.

“Steve [Dewar] has become a key provider for the Local Youth Network and I would consider him part of our wider network”, wrote Helen Bradley, a Wiltshire Council youth officer.“YFC delivered an excellent summer project which we hope to re-run next year. He also offers support in relationships with churches.

“The Wilts YFC summer project was extremely successful. Young people have asked for this back. I know that a number of young people really benefitted from contact with Steve and other YFC youth workers.

“I hope that we can continue the partnership, even as budgets tighten. The benefit of having professional youth workers in the community sector is hugely beneficial.”

Another project supported by Wiltshire YFC is the Pulse Youth worship event, a monthly gathering for teenagers which takes place on the first Friday of the month at Holy Trinity Church, Trowbridge.

James says people can support Wiltshire YFC’s work in four ways.

“Firstly, receive and read our newsletter. Email james@wiltshireyfc.org.uk to request it for the latest news and updates on what is going on (www.wiltshireyfc.org.uk for more information). Secondly, pray for our work – using the newsletter as a guide. Thirdly, give financially – mission among young people in the area will only be sustainable with the support of local people. Last, but not least, volunteer. Perhaps you could mentor someone or help out in a local youth project. If you are interested please get in touch us by emailing james@wiltshireyfc.org.uk.

“There is an increasing need for mentoring in schools and we are running Connect Mentoring, which is currently delivering in Trowbridge schools. This work involves volunteers going into a school once a week to support one young person. We know it makes a difference but there are more young people than we can serve. We are running a training event in Trowbridge on Saturday 16th April. If you are interested, please email Dan on dan@wiltshireyfc.org.uk

“YFC is simply part of the missionary arm of the local church and as such we are keen to resource local churches through great youth work material and training to reach young people in their communities. If churches want to do this then we would love to hear from you so please do get in touch. Whether you would like help with developing a new ministry, want to be part of a YFC project or subscribe to our church resources. You can email james@wiltshireyfc.org.uk with your questions.”

Wiltshire Youth For Christ’s Showcase Event, highlighting their work and discussing future plans, will take place on Tuesday 12 April at 7.30pm in Holy Trinity, Trowbridge. Neil O’Boyle, YFC National Director will speak and they will be present awards for youth work and young people in the area. You can click here to book a place.

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