All in a Gap-Year
This year has been an amazing year…
Joanna and Nobandile have finished their gap-year with us (no, the fact that they have finished isn’t what is good, it’s what they’ve accomplished during their year which is brilliant). Whilst being based at Trafford YFC, they have grown so much in their confidence to share and deliver the Gospel, in their lesson presentation skills, and they have grown spiritually too. We have been blessed to share their gap-year with them, and are quite sad to see them leave. We hope that they both come back to visit while they’re at Uni (Joanna is off to Durham to study Theology, and Nobandile is going to study Sports Science down in Kent), and wish them both the very best in their futures. It would be wonderful, if when they finish their respective courses, they decided to come back to work/volunteer in Trafford (wishful thinking perhaps, but they have left a lasting impression and quite big shoes to fill).
Without the girls this year (and of course, our previous YFC:One volunteers) we wouldn’t have such a successful Detached youthwork project on the Sale West estate. This has evolved quite a bit since we started it with Hannah and Roberto, back in September 2015. We used to simply walk around the estate for the evening, and would only see a handful of young people – sometimes, none at all.
“At the start of the year, we were seeing a handful of young people each week, and they were all saying that they wanted somewhere to go on an evening.” – Matt Courtney
After discovering what the young people actually wanted, we therefore, alongside Saint Mary Magdalene’s Church, set up a youth drop-in in the community centre on the estate, and now regularly get 40+ young people attend each week. Without the volunteers from the church and the YFC:One girls, this venture just wouldn’t have been possible.
At the start of the year, we were asked to do a series of interviews with TWR-UK. Joanna, Dave and Matt were joined by Aaron (Pais Intern with St. Mary Magdalene’s Church). Together, they conducted a whole load of interviews, which were aired over Easter, looking at the shift in youth-culture over the past decade or so. This was a great opportunity, especially for Joanna to explore some of her views on various topics as well as giving her confidence to voice her views. It was fun to record the sessions, and great for bonding with each other. Off the back of these interviews, Matt has been asked for soundbites sharing views on various issues facing young people, and how Trafford YFC (as well as other fellow Christian youth organisations) aim to tackle these issues.
Right at the end of the year, we were joined by Nomad, YFC’s touring Cage-Football team. They visited five schools in as many days, as well as four church events in the evenings. Throughout the week, they delivered 19 lessons, and saw over 500 young people. They connected with the students in ways that we wouldn’t normally be able to, through football. The schools were all impressed with the standard of lesson, and the team as a whole. I think it’s safe to say that we will be looking to book them again in the near future!
As well as all of these things, we have hosted a successful (and fun) quiz night, made some rather interesting videos, delivered lessons to over 4,000 young people in Trafford, led several lunch-clubs & Christian Unions, and eaten a lot of fast-food.
So… As I was saying, this year has been an amazing year… Let’s top it next year!
If you’re interested in joining our team, or looking at how to spend your gap-year, take a look at some of the options YFC can offer. YFC:One – based in a local Centre, Nomad – touring the country playing Cage-Football, Evolve – working with Trafford YFC whilst staying at home. There’s plenty to do, and loads of ways we can tailor your year.
For more details, please do get in touch.