Please see below for our latest prayer letter. Your prayers and support are very much appreciated.
Hannah has been officially UNfurloughed and is back and ready to go! We’re spending the next couple of weeks figuring out what the Youth Project looks like in this new ever-changing normal, but keep your eyes peeled for updates on our plans.
In the mean time, we wanted to say a big HELLO and WE MISSED YOU LOADS!
What do you miss most about Harvington Youth Project? Let us know!
As a youth project we believe that the message and call of Jesus is clear; to be a voice for the voiceless, to love radically and without bounds, and to speak out against oppression and injustice. All of these require action.
In the Bible Jesus uses stories to share truths with the people around him. Once such story tells of a Shepherd who has one hundred sheep; one of which goes missing. The story goes that in order to rescue the one sheep, he leaves the ninety nine (safe sheep) and goes in search of the one. When the one sheep is found he rejoices – has a party! The ninety nine sheep didn’t need to be rescued, but the one did. Yes, we believe that all lives are important. But right now, it is not the majority that are in need of rescuing.
As a youth project we also believe that the passion and zeal of young people can change the world.
That is why we commit to stand with our black brothers and sisters. We commit to stand with the marginalised and oppressed. We commit to speak out against injustice. And we commit to educate ourselves and your young people about our history and the racism that is still so prevalent within our society.
Together, we commit to love radically.
We are really missing hanging out with you all in the Youth Project; and while we have LOVED Zooming with you, the time has come for us to take a break. Hannah has officially been furloughed and is spending lots of her time teaching the girls and looking after her garden!
We sincerely pray that this troubling time can be a time of beauty, discovery, and life in all its fullness.
If you have any questions, or would like to get in contact with someone from the Steering Group then please feel free to email our Chairperson, Peter, at: email@example.com
In the mean time, head over to our Facebook page to see our latest video to remind you of what we’re all about at the Youth Project!
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.
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
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
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?
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!
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:
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!