Creativity continues at Norwich Youth for Christ
Online gaming, 1-1 support and youth cafes are just some of the activities Norwich Youth for Christ have been running over the past year and were presented at the charity’s online showcase.
As with many events, The Annual Showcase 2021 was streamed online. Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, Norwich Youth for Christ quickly adapted their activities and have reached hundreds of young people with the message of Jesus.
Encounter, the youth worship event continues online, offering a combination of music, games and talks. Guest speakers covered topics including mental health.
The skills of the staff team have helped Norwich Youth for Christ innovate during 2020. The newest team member Tom was recruited just a week before lockdown. In addition, sound engineer Alex joined the team at just the right time, as there was such an emphasis on online content and video editing.
Young people have been involved in all the activities and encouraged to stay creative, for example they producing a film during lockdown. They wrote and developed the script, recorded music and contributed to editing the film. Norwich Youth For Christ’s youtube channel has seen a record 32,000 views. Young people wrote and recorded a Christmas song in just two weeks – the song was played on BBC Radio Norfolk and was a fantastic success and is among the top five most viewed videos on the charity’s channel.
Gaming nights remain popular, with weekly Minecraft, Fortnight and Rocket League sessions. Regular attendee Ashton described the gaming group as a safe space if he wants to talk to anyone, whether a friend or a member of the Norwich Youth for Christ team. He said it is open for any young person to join.
Not everything has been online. When restrictions have allowed, the team has been going into schools, for example, a lunchtime club for year 7 at Framingham Earl High School, where students learn the truth about who God is. Youthworker Gary, who works in partnership with churches in Poringland and Bramerton, had been running a youth café two nights a week for high school students. After covid forced the club to close, Instagram was used to keep the young people connected and some joined socially distanced walks. The young people were open about their struggles during lockdown and the staff team was able to support them.
Boost, the charity’s alternative education provision for young people at risk of being expelled from school has continued. Core subjects such as Maths and English are covered, as well as life skills such as cooking, sports, music and photogrpahy. Fewer students meant team member Abi has offered more intensive 1-to-1 support, which has been beneficial to the students.
Gap year volunteers Connor and Ben should have been running a Christian Union at Helleson High School but this plan was put on hold due to restrictions. In partnership with Meadow Way Chapel, they have been submitting video content to the school. In addition they have been involved in a lunch club at another high school where the sort of questions they have been asked include; Do non-believers deserve to go to hell? Is heaven in space or in another world? Why did God create Satan if he knew he would rebel against him?
The team acknowledges that God isn't limited by this pandemic; he is still powerfully at work. Future plans will see the team build bridges back to schools, work with young people who may be traumatised by the events of the year and develop some new church partnerships.
Catch up on Norwich Youth For Christ's showcase 2021 below