NEWSLETTER September 2013
who am I? “I guess you could say I have a temper…I spend more time with the Headteacher than I do in class.” Lucy comments with a smirk on her face. “But that’s who I am, I’m the one who’s always in trouble whether it was me or not! At least it makes everyone laugh.”
o matter how loving and supportive Lucy’s parents are, they are not her parents, they’re her adoptive parents and that matters to Lucy. Not knowing where she comes from causes her to feel rootless, someone without a firm foundation; lost. The anger began to surface as two storms collided; one as she started to fully process why mum gave her away (as she puts it) and two when she started to attract unwanted attention from some older students who teased her during the first two years of school. The only way to cope, to defend herself was and is to go on the offensive. Behind every 1:1 session, every support group or offer of hospitality the team at east to west address this question every day – Who am I, when mum didn’t seem to want me? Who am I when my peers bully me? Who am I if I’m not in top set? Who am I when no-one notices me? The answer is; as Marianne Williamson puts it: You are brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous…You are a Child of God. The truth is life transforming, but it’s also hard to believe, so that is why through both word and action we won’t stop declaring that truth to all that we meet. This year we’re declaring that truth to even more
Spelthorne Schools After a one year trial by 3 new schools in the Surrey Borough of Spelthorne we are pleased to announce that they (Bishop Wand, St Paul’s and Thamesmead) have asked us to keep our teams in their schools for a further 2 years. This is a fantastic endorsement of what Adrian, Laura, Louise, Nick and Rachel have achieved in the schools that convinced the Headteachers to keep the work going for at least another 2 years
Parish of Sunninghill and South Ascot We are partnering with The Parish of Sunninghill and South Ascot. The goal is to develop the parish’s youth work offer by placing a student youth worker there for 3 years. Rev Stephen Johnston comments: “Working together with east to west will enable us to support, encourage and minister so much more effectively among young people in the parish. Our Youthworker will be able to tap into east to west’s years of experience in Charters, be wonderfully supported and trained and be part of the link we’ve needed between the school, church and community. Partnering with both east to west and Oasis College has given us more confidence about taking this step, which I hope will be only the first part of our response to God’s desire to bring faith, love and hope to young lives.”
east to west:
Community Relational Support Worker (Runnymede) Following on from the success of our Community Youth Pastor roles in Egham Hythe and currently in Windsor; we’ve won, in partnership with Eikon Charity a contract from Surrey County Council to draw alongside some of the Boroughs most ‘at risk’ young people for the next 2 years. Our CRSW will deliver ‘Vision Courses’, which help young people see the bigger picture of who they are and what they can achieve. The CRSW will also provide 1:1 support to address the issues that are causing young people to be ‘at risk’.
“are an important player in helping us to support some of our vulnerable students to really achieve their potential.” Peter Rodin, Headteacher Thamesmead School
“have raised the self-esteem of so many students, which means that their learning and ability to cope with the world beyond school is enhanced. In short, they feel valued and realise they have something to offer.” Ceri Bacon, Headteacher St Pauls
“has boosted confidence and selfesteem to several of our young people in danger of becoming disengaged from education and their aspirations. In short, they’ve got a sense of purpose.” Toby Miller, Headteacher Bishop Wand
Fledge Off the back of Supported Lodging’s success and growing reputation, east to west was approached by Mark and Lauren Cheshire about joining east to west to replicate Supported Lodgings down on the South Coast in Eastleigh through a community organisation called Fledge. Let us introduce you, to Mark and Lauren: Lauren has worked with young people for around 10 years and has been a youth minister at St Thomas Church, in Fair Oak, near Eastleigh for 6 years. Mark has 7 years of experience working within the sixth form education sector, specifically in special educational needs. He has been a qualified teacher for 5 years and a Specialist Teacher for 3 years. Mark’s work sees him teaching and supporting a large number of vulnerable young people. Mark and Lauren have a heart for seeing young people restored. They love it when young people know and understand healthy relationships and how to make wise choices, and most of all when young people see and enter the Kingdom of God. Lauren commented that: “Fledge is a project set up in Eastleigh Borough, which is firmly etched on our hearts. The vision is to create home and community around young people to give then a foundation on which to flourish. Restorative hospitality is the outworking of this, as home isn’t just where you lay your head, but where significant relationships live... Fledge is still growing but the opportunity to work with east to west in the development is very exciting.”
help r u o y f o e s u a c “Be d on I can now stan t and e e f o w t n w o my to e c n e d fi n o c e h t have go into school”
CYP role in Windsor:
“Thank you for all of your help and support over the past few years. It has been invaluable for me and I am so grateful for the time you have spent helping me. I don’t think I would be in such a positive position right now if it hadn’t been for your guidance and support” 1:1 sessions young people
TARGET to journey NEET young people to become EET
ACTUAL OUTCOME NEET to EET
766 received 1:1 sessions 75%
people journeyed 227 Young with for the whole year
2,600 Total hours “If it ha dn my RSW ’t been for probably then I’d g a 3rd tim ot pregnant helped m e…she’s e and hav take control e bound aries.”
“I enjoyed the Inspire Course as I now understand I can reach anything in life if I try”
Main themes: Family 314 YPs Anxious 230 YPs Behaviour 219 YPs
(issue based, parenting, sports clubs) People attended 439 Young over year
individual groups delivered
Main themes: Anger Management Self Esteem Transition into school or employment
Relational Support Worker NEET (unemployed) EET (employed or at College)
for empire building reasons but because of the need increasing.
CATHERINE: I think that there is real financial poverty here, but the big one is emotional poverty. Behind the scenes at east to west there’s a great support team nurturing, supporting, refuelling and encouraging the frontline work that we all value. So in this newsletter we want to introduce to you Ian Smith (Operations Manager) and Catherine Burns (Safeguarding and Development Lead) the dynamic double act.
Behind the job titles what do your roles look like on the ground?
CATHERINE: As frontline services are
shrinking, the demand on the east to west team is increasing due the complexity of IAN: It’s managing the team to enable them what they are addressing. So I’m there to to thrive as Relational Support Workers, support them as what they hear and address to remove as many barriers so that their has an effect on them personally - I need to engagement can be as effective as possible. make sure that they are emotionally healthy, That means I manage the contracts with all and not being bogged down our partners and look to ensure so much that they can’t see that right things are signed, agreed “As frontline the wood for the trees. Also and accomplished. So basically I services are from an accountability point manage the team’s delivery and the shrinking away of view when the pressure relationships with our partners such the demand is on we’re minimising risk in on the east to as schools or local authorities. what the team does especially west team is CATHERINE: I meet with the increasing” around safeguarding/child frontline team individually every 6 protection so we are as sharp weeks to help them reflect on their as we can be. approach/practice, and offload all the issues Behind the numerical data that we and challenges that they are supporting can produce what do you see as young people through. the big need areas especially in a So why are your roles needed? geographically affluent area?
IAN: I think you always need someone to have a wider view of all that’s happening so we can collectively be as effective as possible. Andy seeks to keep the vision alive – my role is to manage the steps that get us there.
IAN: If I am very honest this area needs an organisation like east to west in every school, community and borough in this locality – because there are more children, young people and parents hurting at present than we can reach. I’d love us to grow, not
There’s a lot of pressure on young people in family situations – the impact of family breakdown and the guilt associated with having to choose between which parent to live with. There is an increase in the issues of alcohol and the effect that has on families. The tension for a young person to stay loyal to mum or dad and not to offload that burden that they carry. We’re also seeing a spike in anxiety where the financial pressures on the home are felt by the children or young people where they are powerless to intervene – which then can outwork itself destructively through selfharm and anger. So the team are hearing and carrying a lot. What effect does it have on them as individuals?
IAN: On one level they are getting tired quicker than they used to. The need levels are such that so many of them aren’t (and forgive me for this statement) “winnable” so it can feel more and more that you’re not succeeding and that can be demoralising. Also because of the reduction of referral organisations out there – the teams worry level increases as their concern for the young person is amplified due to lack of additional support. CATHERINE: The team are very competent and it’s an on-going journey for all of us on how we stay resilient, keep going, holding onto Christ in the face of
what we hear. There can be a downward spiral of inevitability – the more you hear the more you expect to hear and so that isn’t great for anyone’s soul – so we need to constantly be holding the team in prayer and allowing them space to process what they journey with. What makes them good at what they do is that they care, but because they care often what they hear affects them and they wouldn’t be human if it didn’t. Some people who read this newsletter deliver youth work what advice would you want to pass on?
IAN: Always focus on the long game – you’ll rarely see “success” with shorttermism. Real transformation comes over years of faithful and constant devotion. Which I guess is hard but we need to remember that more often than not, people are reacting to situations and we need to ride the storm out with them. CATHERINE: I think we have to be careful that we operate safely with children and young people because of their value as being made in God’s Image and not from a purely fear perspective (simply insuring ourselves). Safeguarding/child protection is part of the way we minister, it’s a way of operating that declares “worth” – your worth is so great that we will place your pastoral care and development at the centre of what we do and not see it as the legislation that stops us doing youth or children’s work. If you could describe a key impact the team delivers what would it be?
IAN: Passionate CATHERINE: Devotion
we’ve grown please grow with us In 2013-14 the output of east to west will increase by 38% an increase of 1,700 hours of Relational Support Work. Would you consider increasing your financial support or consider to support? – please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Income for 2012-13:
Turnover = £307k Relational Support Work hours = 4,350
Caffeinated Communal Learning for Leaders of Youth Organisations Café Leadership is an initiative set up by Andy to support leaders of Christian Youth Organisations. Andy commented “Lots of my peers tell me that they became the CEO because they were the one’s with the passion, the passion then
turned into a project and the project into an organisation. Now they’re in a new world of managing people, reviewing budgets, reporting to a board, risk assessments and trying to understand employment law. Desperately hoping not to get found out” Café Leadership is a series of 5 gatherings over coffee and lunch where charity leaders, in community, support each other through the journey of leadership. If you are a leader and want to know more: www.cafeleadership.org.uk
east to west trust, Unit 3, 80 High Street, Egham, TW20 9HE Tel 01784 438007 www.easttowest.org.uk A company Limited by Guarantee Registered in England No. 6972769 Registered Charity No. 1131229
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