You Have Not Been Forgotten!

With the latest news regarding school closures the Youth Project feels it is more important than ever to ensure the young people of Harvington do not feel alone or isolated.

Starting next week we will be hosting virtual youth groups for both the Monday Ignite (13+) group and Tuesday Explore (10-13) groups, both starting at their normal times. If there is enough interest then we may be able to run a couple of smaller Adventurers groups, obviously using parent’s contact details.

We are currently exploring using Google Hangouts but will keep you posted.

These next few months are going to be a challenge for all, but we don’t have to go through them alone.

COVID -19 – New Update

Harvington Youth Project – Update from the Steering Group regarding Covid-19

Issued on Monday March 16th 2020

The Prime Minister gave a statement this evening which has caused our Youth Leader and the Steering Group to review our statement from last week. It is a major development on social distancing.

We are being told that non-essential contact and travel should stop. Attendance at clubs should stop too.

It is with a heavy heart that it has been decided to close the three groups with immediate effect. We do not know for how long.

In the meantime, Hannah, our Youth Leader, will look at ways in which we can use social media and the Harvington Youth Project website to keep communication going throughout this difficult period.

We wish all of you well at this very challenging time. Life is going to change and we hope to find ways in which we can support the most vulnerable in our community including our children and young people.

With warm wishes

Peter Ashplant – Chairperson 

On behalf of the Harvington Youth Project Steering Group

COVID-19

Statement from the Steering Group regarding Covid-19

Issued on Friday March 13th2020

The Steering Group believes that we should communicate how the project should proceed during these difficult times as the world struggles to contain the Covid 19 virus.

The British Government has made a decision not to close schools at this present time and we see this as a marker to be followed by the Harvington Youth Project. We are, therefore, not closing the three groups on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at this present time.

We shall be monitoring the Government advice and spread of the virus on a daily basis and will communicate quickly if this current situation changes.

We are, however, re-iterating the health messages which are being consistently communicated in order to contain the spread of the virus. Staff involved in the project will be working with everyone in order to encourage compliance with the important precautions.

What precautions should you take? 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. As children and young people arrive, they will be requested to do this and before they eat their tuck.
  • Notes and coins are prime germ spreaders and we would suggest that after paying their subs or touch money for tuck, everyone washes their hands.  
  • Try to avoid touching your face with your hands.
  • Cover any cough or sneeze with a tissue and then put it straightaway into a closed bin – if you haven’t got a tissue handy then use the crook of your elbow, don’t use your hand.  Wash or sanitize your hands as soon as possible afterwards and try to avoid people who cough and sneeze by keeping your distance. 
  • Viruses can live on hard surfaces for up to eight hours. Regular cleaning of door handles and tables will be part of the group night regular activity. Wipes and hand gel will be available
  • If you have symptoms that could be caused by coronavirus such as a fever, cough or shortness of breath call 111 immediately.

The Steering Group does understand if individual parents or carers wish to withdraw their child from the groups at this time. We believe that the age group concerned are not considered to be in a vulnerable group category but it is clearly possible for children to pass on the virus to those with underlying health conditions or to the elderly people in our community. We should be sensitive to this.

As I write this, the numbers of positive testing for this virus has increased from yesterday so, it is likely that I shall be writing again to you soon in order to keep you up to date on the situation and how it will influence the running of our groups.

In the meantime, I thank you for you help and understanding at this time and wish you good health.

Peter Ashplant – Chairperson

On behalf of the Harvington Youth Project Steering Group

Long Lasting Relationships

We believe that creating relationships with young people is key to how we work as a Youth Project. Our first and original youth worker, James Nicol, has written about his experience in forming long lasting relationships:

Hannah has asked me to pen a few sentences on building long lasting relationships with young people. Sounds a bit formal doesn’t it?

On Saturday 9th May we’ve been invited to Hannah Stokes’ wedding. Can’t wait. I can’t remember how old Hannah is now, but I can remember her coming to Adventurers for the first time when she was seven. She was brought by another seven year old – Anna. Sue Stokes will probably be able to confirm that this is why Sue starting coming to Chapel and why she now helps with Explore on Tuesday nights. I had an email from Anna’s Mum – Janice – last week; she’d watched a Greenbelt interview of Russel Brand I had sent around, and she told me how much she’d loved it. Janice lives in Evesham now.

On the same day as Hannah’s wedding, we’ve been invited to the 60th birthday party of one of the Mums of young people now in their late 30s. When her boys first came to the project Dad was upset and told us not to corrupt his boys. I went cycling with Simon (one of their boys) last weekend and we’ve just booked a trip to Ambleside together.

Last Thursday, Rich popped round to offload some of his Christmas beer. I’ve only ever mowed our lawn once – Rich has mowed it every other time. We’ve lived at Stoneleigh for twelve years now. We invited Rich to our wedding as a young 14 year old. He’s 39 now. Rich couldn’t come to our wedding, but Becky (his sister) came – and is still actively making a difference in the lives of young people.

Why am I telling you this? Well, time moves very quickly doesn’t it? Life is short. I expect I’ve lived over half of my life now and when I do get to my death bed, I won’t be thinking about the stuff I’m leaving behind, but the people who I’m leaving and those who will be waiting for me. I want everybody I know to get to heaven. I can’t think of anything I’d rather do with the time I’ve got left on earth than to invest it in long lasting relationships, that will hopefully turn out to be eternal. Maybe this is what Jesus meant when he told the rich young ruler to build his treasures in heaven rather than on earth. After all, God is relational and we’re made in his image – it’s good for us and others to have lots of quality relationships. I guess it’s because of the Trinity – the longest lasting relationship of all.

My old youth worker, Pete, is coming to ours on Sunday for lunch. He had to put up with a lot from me when I was in his youth group – I can’t wait to see him. I guess I’m so grateful for what I’ve been given; of having people looking out for me when I was young, that I want to carry on his legacy.

Reunion at Greenbelt anyone?

2019 The Best Bits!

Happy New Year! We hope you had a wonderful Christmas shared with those you love.

Groups are now back up and running and we’re excited for all that 2020 has to hold for the Youth Project.

Here are some of our highlights from 2019…

In February our Explorers group had a pancake extravaganza party, with games all pancake themed. Who’s hiding behind the pancake? Guess the pancake person. The most pancakes flipped… Our pancake parties are always a tasty hit!

Our Table Tennis Fundraiser on the 8th June was a huge success, raising over £1000 to go towards our 25th Anniversary celebrations. People signed up for half hour slots and together played for over 12 hours! The piles and piles of cakes definitely helped keep the energy up…!

This year the youth project lent a helping hand with the St James summer fete and flower festival. The young people made some beautiful paper flowers to be displayed within the church and we facilitated games and competitions for people to enjoy.

Of course, one of the greatest highlights for us as a youth project was the 25th Anniversary celebrations held in September. We were overwhelmed with the response of the village and those who used to be a part of the project. With an estimated 400 people joining us for a Family Fun Day at Ellenden Farm, we are so thankful for all who took part.

Christmas is always a highlight in the Youth Project. This year was no exception with the fun and games that we had. Our Adventurers group had a – rather noisy – film and popcorn night, complete with blankets and pyjamas. Whilst our Explorers and Ignite groups took part in their new favourite – Secret Santa Dash around the Range, followed by McDonalds!

Thank you to everyone who made 2019 such a fun year! Looking forward to plenty more fun and frolics in the year to come… Watch this space!

 

 

I AM HE.

This term at the youth project we are starting to discover who the man Jesus is by looking at things he said about himself in the Bible. To start off we are looking at a story which is often called Woman at the Well, check out the video below to find out more:

The Woman at the Well from InterVarsity twentyonehundred on Vimeo.

 

We believe that Jesus came to bring unity. We believe that he knows everything about us and still wants to know us, love us and rescue us. If you have any questions feel free to ask any of our leaders – they would love to talk about this more!

25th Dec 2018

HAPPY CHRISTMAS ALL!

Well done to everyone who did one or all of our advent challenges. We hope that this season of advent has been an opportunity to slow down and think about Christmas differently. We hope you’ve seen how your small actions can make a big impact on the world and the people around you.

Today’s challenge is to pray and thank God for our community.

Thank you for taking part in this challenge with us. We hope that you have a wonderful Christmas where you’re able to stop and think about the reason we celebrate it – that a small baby was born to have a big impact on this world.

24th Dec 2018

In our advent challenges we’ve been thinking about how small actions can make a big impact in the lives of others. We’ve also been thinking about how stories are a great way of understanding each other and the world around us.

Your challenge today is to read the following story, maybe by yourself or with others, and think about what the story could mean – you can use the points and questions at the bottom of the post to help you!

The Selfish Giant – Oscar Wilde

Every afternoon, as they were coming from school, the children used to go and play in the Giant’s garden.

It was a large lovely garden, with soft green grass. Here and there over the grass stood beautiful flowers like stars, and there were twelve peach-trees that in the spring-time broke out into delicate blossoms of pink and pearl, and in the autumn bore rich fruit. The birds sat on the trees and sang so sweetly that the children used to stop their games in order to listen to them. “How happy we are here!” they cried to each other.

One day the Giant came back. He had been to visit his friend the Cornish ogre, and had stayed with him for seven years. After the seven years were over he had said all that he had to say, for his conversation was limited, and he determined to return to his own castle. When he arrived he saw the children playing in the garden. “What are you doing here?” he cried in a very gruff voice, and the children ran away.

“My own garden is my own garden,” said the Giant; “any one can understand that, and I will allow nobody to play in it but myself.” So he built a high wall all round it, and put up a notice-board.

TRESPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED

He was a very selfish Giant.

The poor children had now nowhere to play. They tried to play on the road, but the road was very dusty and full of hard stones, and they did not like it. They used to wander round the high wall when their lessons were over, and talk about the beautiful garden inside. “How happy we were there,” they said to each other.

Then the Spring came, and all over the country there were little blossoms and little birds. Only in the garden of the Selfish Giant it was still winter. The birds did not care to sing in it as there were no children, and the trees forgot to blossom. Once a beautiful flower put its head out from the grass, but when it saw the notice-board it was so sorry for the children that it slipped back into the ground again, and went off to sleep. The only people who were pleased were the Snow and the Frost. “Spring has forgotten this garden,” they cried, “so we will live here all the year round.” The Snow covered up the grass with her great white cloak, and the Frost painted all the trees silver. Then they invited the North Wind to stay with them, and he came. He was wrapped in furs, and he roared all day about the garden, and blew the chimney-pots down. “This is a delightful spot,” he said, “we must ask the Hail on a visit.” So the Hail came. Every day for three hours he rattled on the roof of the castle till he broke most of the slates, and then he ran round and round the garden as fast as he could go. He was dressed in grey, and his breath was like ice.

“I cannot understand why the Spring is so late in coming,” said the Selfish Giant, as he sat at the window and looked out at his cold white garden; “I hope there will be a change in the weather.”

But the Spring never came, nor the Summer. The Autumn gave golden fruit to every garden, but to the Giant’s garden she gave none. “He is too selfish,” she said. So it was always Winter there, and the North Wind, and the Hail, and the Frost, and the Snow danced about through the trees.

One morning the Giant was lying awake in bed when he heard some lovely music. It sounded so sweet to his ears that he thought it must be the King’s musicians passing by. It was really only a little linnet singing outside his window, but it was so long since he had heard a bird sing in his garden that it seemed to him to be the most beautiful music in the world. Then the Hail stopped dancing over his head, and the North Wind ceased roaring, and a delicious perfume came to him through the open casement. “I believe the Spring has come at last,” said the Giant; and he jumped out of bed and looked out.

What did he see?

He saw a most wonderful sight. Through a little hole in the wall the children had crept in, and they were sitting in the branches of the trees. In every tree that he could see there was a little child. And the trees were so glad to have the children back again that they had covered themselves with blossoms, and were waving their arms gently above the children’s heads. The birds were flying about and twittering with delight, and the flowers were looking up through the green grass and laughing. It was a lovely scene, only in one corner it was still winter. It was the farthest corner of the garden, and in it was standing a little boy. He was so small that he could not reach up to the branches of the tree, and he was wandering all round it, crying bitterly. The poor tree was still quite covered with frost and snow, and the North Wind was blowing and roaring above it. “Climb up! little boy,” said the Tree, and it bent its branches down as low as it could; but the boy was too tiny.

And the Giant’s heart melted as he looked out. “How selfish I have been!” he said; “now I know why the Spring would not come here. I will put that poor little boy on the top of the tree, and then I will knock down the wall, and my garden shall be the children’s playground for ever and ever.” He was really very sorry for what he had done.

So he crept downstairs and opened the front door quite softly, and went out into the garden. But when the children saw him they were so frightened that they all ran away, and the garden became winter again. Only the little boy did not run, for his eyes were so full of tears that he did not see the Giant coming. And the Giant stole up behind him and took him gently in his hand, and put him up into the tree. And the tree broke at once into blossom, and the birds came and sang on it, and the little boy stretched out his two arms and flung them round the Giant’s neck, and kissed him. And the other children, when they saw that the Giant was not wicked any longer, came running back, and with them came the Spring. “It is your garden now, little children,” said the Giant, and he took a great axe and knocked down the wall. And when the people were going to market at twelve o’clock they found the Giant playing with the children in the most beautiful garden they had ever seen.

All day long they played, and in the evening they came to the Giant to bid him good-bye.

“But where is your little companion?” he said: “the boy I put into the tree.” The Giant loved him the best because he had kissed him.

“We don’t know,” answered the children; “he has gone away.”

“You must tell him to be sure and come here to-morrow,” said the Giant. But the children said that they did not know where he lived, and had never seen him before; and the Giant felt very sad.

Every afternoon, when school was over, the children came and played with the Giant. But the little boy whom the Giant loved was never seen again. The Giant was very kind to all the children, yet he longed for his first little friend, and often spoke of him. “How I would like to see him!” he used to say.

Years went over, and the Giant grew very old and feeble. He could not play about any more, so he sat in a huge armchair, and watched the children at their games, and admired his garden. “I have many beautiful flowers,” he said; “but the children are the most beautiful flowers of all.”

One winter morning he looked out of his window as he was dressing. He did not hate the Winter now, for he knew that it was merely the Spring asleep, and that the flowers were resting.

Suddenly he rubbed his eyes in wonder, and looked and looked. It certainly was a marvellous sight. In the farthest corner of the garden was a tree quite covered with lovely white blossoms. Its branches were all golden, and silver fruit hung down from them, and underneath it stood the little boy he had loved.

Downstairs ran the Giant in great joy, and out into the garden. He hastened across the grass, and came near to the child. And when he came quite close his face grew red with anger, and he said, “Who hath dared to wound thee?” For on the palms of the child’s hands were the prints of two nails, and the prints of two nails were on the little feet.

“Who hath dared to wound thee?” cried the Giant; “tell me, that I may take my big sword and slay him.” “Nay!” answered the child; “but these are the wounds of Love.”

“Who art thou?” said the Giant, and a strange awe fell on him, and he knelt before the little child.

And the child smiled on the Giant, and said to him, “You let me play once in your garden, to-day you shall come with me to my garden, which is Paradise.”

And when the children ran in that afternoon, they found the Giant lying dead under the tree, all covered with white blossoms.

  • How did the giant’s actions affect the people around him?
  • How did his actions affect the world around him?
  • How do your actions positively or negatively affect the world and people around you?
  • Is there anything else in the story that stuck out to you?

We’ve done lots of small things during this advent challenge that have a big impact on others – what has been your favourite? Is there anything that has surprised you? What actions could you carry on doing in the new year?

22nd Dec 2018

All around us this weekend are people trying to prepare for a few days of visiting family and celebrating. Some people may be doing last minute shopping, preparing food and wrapping presents. And I bet there’s lots of people doing cleaning so that they don’t have to do lots over Christmas!

How could you help your friends, neighbours or family with some pre-Christmas chores? I’m helping my mummy clean her house which has recently had some building work done! Let’s get our helpful hats on! 🙌🏼

23rd Dec 2018

We’ve talked about the importance of sharing stories. Well, today we have the opportunity to do just that!

Come to Chapel this morning at 10am where we will have the chance to share our advent challenge stories with one another, and celebrate the coming of Jesus at Christmas!