/News Young People Aren’t Valuable,
They’re PRICELESS While I was in the East Midlands visiting a residential event last year, I had the most encouraging conversation of the summer with a leader who lived in Nunhead, South London. While he was away, rioting had commenced 24 hours earlier in his community. He was concerned for the young people he worked with. In the end he needn’t have been.
Much was made of the riot clean up undertaken by young people and communities the morning after the night before, which the young people he knew were at the centre of with their own brooms and bin bags. However one thing that wasn’t as widely reported was what happened next: his young people knew those who had been at the centre of the violence and instead of condemning them, they arranged a humble game of rounders. This sporting act went beyond a simple clean up to providing an opportunity for wounds between individuals in the community to be healed through rebuilding relationships. This summer we have experienced sporting events costing billions, on a scale larger than may ever be repeated in our lifetimes, but I don’t know if they were more or less significant in the lives of the young people of that community than that humble game a year earlier. At its worst, there appeared to be no
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one in a million campaign update
Alastair Jones, CEO FYT concept of action and consequence in the scenes we saw that were motivated by an opportunity to grab “Stuff”. While any opportunism or criminality displayed on our streets last summer was inexcusable, what messages are young people we know and work with receiving about their value? Even more significant, that game of rounders was an example of how young people have the capacity to bring healing, build bridges and show the kingdom of God in their own lives and communities. Sadly in society young people are often underestimated and are subjected to low expectations, but given the right encouragement or when part of a loving community they can be brilliant. We have found in FYT that it is only where an individual is treated holistically – viewed as a precious individual and not merely reduced to a set of problems or issues to be solved – that we see real transformation in the life of an individual. Whether it’s through the One in a Million campaign on youth unemployment, working with young offenders to get their lives on track (O4G) or helping young people around the UK begin to explore their spirituality (StreetSpace), they are all precious individuals, full of potential. Young people aren’t just valuable – They’re PRICELESS!
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2 Frontier Youth Camps
7 Youth Worker Curry Night
Prayers from the Chair This is another extract from our Monday prayers and reflections:
When your ship, long moored in harbour, gives the illusion of being a house; when your ship begins to put down roots in the stagnant water by the quay: put out to sea! save your boat’s journeying soul and your own pilgrim soul, cost what it may.
Give thanks for two people who encouraged FYT to continue being a pilgrim people: zz Terry Dunnell and his enormous contribution to FYT and remember his wife, Mary, and the rest of the family zz Roger Venables who has just retired as a trustee after being involved with FYT since it began. Pray for today’s FYT team to capture and hold on to that vision especially through: zz One in a Million which speaks out for unemployed young people zz Out for Good which offers new hope for persistent offenders zz StreetSpace which continues to reach out to young people on the edge.
Terry Dunnell Just as the last edition of FYT News was going to print, we heard the very sad news that former FYT team member Terry Dunnell had died. Terry was a real legend. A lovely man, inspirational thinker, pioneer and influencer of so much of what we and many others now do in our work with young people. For those who didn’t know Terry he was the man behind the Mission and Young People at Risk (MAYPAR) idea and materials - I still have a 1985 First Edition paper version of his MAYPAR materials which reads as good today as it no doubt did then! Terry was compassionate, ground-breaking, challenging, creative, permeated with shalom and deeply rooted in God.He was also the brains and inspiration behind our spiritual development work, resource packs, our approach to working in non-book ways, the idea of taking ‘road-shows’ out and about and so much more. Without Terry there would have been no ‘MAYPAR’, none of our
popular ‘Inspire’ books and no spirituality resources. He will be greatly missed. Even when he retired from FYT there was no stopping him as he went onto work for Centre for Youth Ministry (CYM) inspiring the next As a Christmas present, FYT would like to offer you a free download generation of - chapter one of Mission and Young People at Risk, by Terry Dunnell. youth workers. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to claim yours. When he retired from CYM he was still loving people and to ‘FYT’) clearly indicating that it doing mission in his local area of is for ‘Terry’. We will announce Leicester! further details of the Bursary We wanted to do something to in forthcoming remember Terry by that we think editions of FYT would be something he would News. have valued. We have, therefore, set up a Bursary Fund to support Please join with Christian youth work students us in continuing undertaking research work to pray for about missional work with young Terry’s wife, people. If you would like to make a Mary and all donation to the fund, please could his family and you send us your gift (payable friends. Nigel Pimlott
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It has been an exciting time for StreetSpace since the last FYT news, with three staff appointments over the summer to help us cope with the growth of the community.
Based in Glasgow, Dave Close has been seconded to us till Christmas as our Scotland Development worker, and we hope that we will develop this role to become a full time post in the New Year. Martin Stewart started in September as our London development worker. He will be based at Urban Hope in Islington from which we hope to build a strong hub of urban work that can grow into adjacent areas. Martin will be supported by John Wheatley who started full time with us in August and will help cover some of the London enquiries alongside me. So with a new team in place we had our first StreetSpace team meeting, where we used the metaphor “Here be Dragons” to describe how StreetSpace seems to work in the place on the edge of maps that used to be simply marked by the first explorers and map makers by a large Dragon. Much of this thinking is down to our FYT heritage with a commitment to being at the edge, and to our desire to simply follow God where ever led. We described our approach to being and growing church on the edge to a young person, and below
is a map that shows this land of dragons, which aren’t actually that scary after all. There is also a second map with shows where StreetSpace has live projects and emerging projects.
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ONE IN A MILLION – CAMPAIGN UPDATE The last few months have been a busy time for the One in a Million campaign, sharing stories and raising awareness about young people’s experiences of unemployment. The highlights have been:
Greenbelt Festival We had an FYT stand in the resource tent, just opposite the café selling the most amazing brownies ever! We spoke with people about the issue and ask them to take part in our photo campaign. With or without disguises, people posed in the photo board and posted their picture on Facebook to show their solidarity with unemployed young people. John and Debbie gave a presentation about One in a Million at the Greenbelt Youthwork Summit, which was followed up by a workshop exploring practical responses. Although it was at 9.30am on the last morning of the festival when most people were trying to take their tents down before the rain started AGAIN, about 40 people came and discussed not only how to help young people to become more employable and to create new opportunities for them to work, but also how to support them in dealing with the emotional impact of unemployment, how to encourage the church to recognise this as a spiritual issue requiring a missional response and how to achieve change in government policies and priorities. Despite the wet and mud, we were able to run the (Un)Employment Game. We rounded up some unsuspecting passers-by and set them to work. When pay day arrived they discovered that all was not fair, with effort only paying off in some circumstances – and that was nothing to what happened when the rent collector visited…
It is now possible using “Twibbon” to support the One in a Million campaign on your Facebook and twitter profile. Visit http://twibbon.com/Support/one-in-a-million and follow the prompts.
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Resource pack The (Un)Employment Game is one of the activities on offer in the One in a Million Resource Pack. Available now from the FYT website, this pack is aimed primarily at adults in churches and community groups and is designed to help people to: zz gain a better understanding of what the experience of unemployment is like for young people zz reflect on how this relates with their faith zz begin to consider how to respond If you’d like to look into youth unemployment or to encourage your church to stand with young people in their struggle, please download a FREE copy by following this link www.fyt.org.uk/content/product/pdf-downloads/onemillion-resource-pack-churches-and-community-groups or scanning here:
Churches on Board In September, Debbie was invited to present the One in a Million report to the Churches Together in England Enabling Group and to discuss with them ways in which churches can respond at local and national levels. The report will also form the basis for a debate on youth unemployment at the Church of England General Synod in November. Also in November, Churches Together in Birmingham will be hosting an event called “Blessed are the Entrepreneurs” to help churches across the West Midlands discover ways to creating new employment opportunities. It is fantastic to see the report provoking debate, discussion and dialogue across the UK church. Please pray that these conversations lead to change. As ever, if you’d like to get involved, keep informed, read the report, or download the resource pack, please visit www.fyt.org.uk/news or contact Debbie Garden on debbie. firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you.
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Out4Good News (Young People’s names have been changed for confidentiality) My name is Steve and I started working for Frontier Youth Trust’s Out4Good project in September 2010. 2 years (and a bit) later that first day seems like a lifetime ago. Out4Good, for those who aren’t aware is a project based in north Essex, working directly with young ‘ex-offenders’ in order to assist in rehabilitation and re-integration to society. This is done in a variety of ways including: supported temporary accommodation; mentoring (including regular one-to-one meetings to set out goals and ways to work towards them); various life skills development methods; interagency work with treatment agencies, probation services and others to provide a holistic approach to assist young men caught in the trap of re-offending. Our success rate is good and as we start to consider the next step to our development and future funding I can’t help but reflect on what difference it makes in some cases. Take Sean for example. I met Sean in March this year, he was staying in a night shelter in the next town along from ours and in a desperate state. We were able to work alongside him and see him come to our town and find a space at the night shelter here. He subsequently moved into one of our supported houses and after a shaky start settled down to business. Since then he has: zz Completed a parenting course giving him skills to develop his relationship with his son; zz Enrolled on a barbering course at a local adult education centre to improve his chances of employment; zz Gained a regular place and a title of top goal scorer at a local church run football team; zz Begun the process of gaining access to his son; zz Participated in a rock climbing exercise with the group; zz Engaged in an activity at a local outdoor survival centre; zz Attended weekly cooking lessons and cooked regularly for the whole group of lads living with us in our accommodation; zz Volunteered at a local community sports day; zz Volunteered at a locally run music festival; zz Even been along to a local church and engaged in a number of activities with them. Oh and the best of it is that he has not reoffended, or even come close. Some of these
things may seem simple, some may seem grand. To me the biggest achievement was highlighted last week in a conversation. Sean said “my
mum told me I’ve really grown up since being in this project, she thinks I’m doing really well” I know that may seem trivial to many, but to a young man who had to leave his family home at 15 and who was on the verge of prison for a while, who has lived in supported accommodation, night shelters and sofas for the past few years, this is very significant and the reason we continue to believe that there is hope, for all people. Sometimes it isn’t as great, sometimes the stories aren’t as exciting and sometimes the morale is a lot lower. It’s often hard when you’re in the mist of things to see the effect that the work we are involved in has had. I encourage you, if you’re involved in any type of work with or for young people to stop for a moment, think about the one conversation, the one ray of light, the one glimmer of hope that you can see. That is why it’s all worthwhile to me. “I tell you the Truth, if you have faith, as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, “move from here to there” and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Jesus’s words – Luke 17 v6
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Frontier Youth Camps
While the official Olympics took London by storm, Frontier Camps 2012 (www.frontiercamps.com) were a couple of hundred miles north holding events such as “build-your-own-bobsled” and “throw-the-Wotsits-at-the-shaving-foam-coveredleader’s-face” – as well as the more civilised junk modelling Olympic mascots. In amongst the frenetic activity, I had the chilled, sedate role of leading the quiet times. Taking inspiration from the Olympic rings, here are some of the things we reflected on during the week. zz You can look at everything in 2 ways. You can see the neatly linked rings as examples of completion or as holes. Are we more focussed on completing tasks or on identifying the opportunities in the spaces between the tasks? zz The phrase “blue skies” speaks of possibilities, whereas “blue days” refers to sadness. Part of our leadership role is helping others give voice to grief when something is wrong and part of it is about helping them become aware of the hope that is possible. Steve Chalk speaks about frustration being the same thing as vision, because you only experience frustration when you have a sense of how things could be. On the continuum between giving voice to grief and frustration or bringing hope and vision, where are you just now? zz Are you yellow-bellied? Are you mellow yellow?
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Both cowardice and inertia are enemies of activity. Who or what inspires you to be determined and courageous? zz Superstition tells us that black cats are lucky. Black dogs, on the other hand, often symbolise depression or bad moods. The same characteristic is interpreted differently in the different animals. How do we judge others? Do we judge consistently and fairly? zz Quite an anatomical colour, we talk about being green-eyed and being green-fingered. We can focus on what’s lacking in our lives and circumstances, or we can focus on what we can grow. What’s your focus? zz Are you seeing red or looking through rosetinted glasses? Are we buffered from injustice and suffering, or are we seeing clearly. If we’re seeing clearly, how are we feeling? If we’re not angry, we’re probably not paying attention. Frontier Camps run every summer, one week at the end of July and a second at the beginning of August. If you work with 9-13 year olds and would be interested in bringing them along, please contact camp1@ frontiercamps.com or debbie. email@example.com for further information.
Youth Worker Curry Night
Snippets News Chris Parker Over the past year we have been very fortunate to have had Chris, an apprentice working for FYT in the office and sadly we said goodbye to him in October at the end of his year. He has not only helped Leanne in the office he has had a positive experience of working for FYT and gained some useful perspective on his own future.
New design of FYT News… Curry Mile (Rusholme) in Manchester was a fitting venue in October for a dozen youth workers from around the North West to talk about life as a youth worker, to get a good curry and to spend some time networking.
If you’ve received FYT News before you’ll have noticed it looks a bit different. We’ve gone for a new look and hope you like it. We are really interested to know what readers would like to see in news so please let us know. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or write to us at the office address (see below).
FYT Database Update Thanks so much for responding to our ‘Update your Details’ form which we recently enclosed with our annual letter: lots of you responded. We are currently processing it all and it will be fully implemented for Spring FYT News.
Doing mission with young people at risk can be lonely at times and occasionally it’s nice to be able to share with others without an agenda, work to do or training to absorb. Recognising how important this is, FYT would love to be able to facilitate a curry night in your area. Contact us (contact details below) with a suggestion and we’ll try to make it happen.
For regular news and updates: Follow us on @FYTtweets (we like to follow supporters back) Like us on Facebook: fb.me/frontieryouthtrust And check the Website: www.fyt.org.uk
If you opted for an FYT News by email, we hope this format will be useful for you. For those that want to keep receiving FYT News by mail we are delighted to continue to deliver this by post. If you opted for one format and decide to change that’s also fine, just let us know at any time by email: email@example.com or contact the office.
contact: Frontier Youth Trust (S15b) St. George’s Community Hub Great Hampton Row Newtown, Birmingham B19 3JG Office: 0121 687 3505 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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