As we enter the new academic year, we are so pleased to be in a different world than we were 12 months ago.
Last year we were uncertain how long it would take until schools would have us back taking lessons, and the only regular youthwork we were doing, was helping with a couple of church youth groups (Altrincham Baptist Church, and here at St. Mary’s).
We tried to restart The Cave drop-in youth group on Sale West, and after several weeks of very low numbers and behavioural issues, we decided to cease the group in March. We are still a presence on the estate litter-picking each week, and the time we gained in the evenings meant that we could explore elsewhere in Trafford, praying for what was going to come next.
Since then, we have set up (in partnership with local churches) two lunch-clubs, in Altrincham Girl’s Grammar and North Cestrian, and have another starting next week in Ashton-on-Mersey School.
We started back taking lessons in schools at Christmas, and the last two terms were getting back to a ‘normal’ standard of business as far as schools’ bookings were concerned.
We continue to help with the Friday night youth groups at ABC and St. Mary’s, and we have recently set up a new youth group over at The Church on the Brow, to reach the young people of Oldfield Brow. It has also been named 'The Cave' but has a very different feel. It is a structured youth group, using Youth For Christ’s ‘Rock Solid’ youth group material, with planned games and discussion groups, all around the theme for that night. We obviously have a tuck-shop and table-top games for the free time at the end, as well as FIFA on a PlayStation too.
We were hoping to have had some gap-year volunteers through British Youth For Christ joining us this year, but were unsuccessful, and with Alex moving over to St. Mary’s, we are just Joanne & I, but we are looking into other options for placement students to help us out for a term or so.
Post-COVID our finances have been hit hard. Obviously, everyone has felt the pinch, and as a result we have lost some regular supporters. We are still working faithfully to bring Jesus to the young people where they are at (in schools) but are currently working at a deficit. Please do consider becoming a regular financial supporter of the work so that we can continue to reach where the Church is often unwelcome.
Please be praying for us as we try to navigate this new season. Pray that schools continue to welcome us back and that we are effectively able to engage with the young people in our area and local communities.
Thank you for your support thus far,
Dave, Joanne, and the Trustees
To find out more about the work of Trafford Youth For Christ please visit www.trafford.yfc.co.uk