Wohooo, we are now a charity!
On 12th May we had the launch celebration for our new charity: Source Youthwork. It's such an exciting new chapter for the Wilmslow Youth team, and we're so pleased to finally be able to tell you all about it!
THE STORY SO FAR
In 2016, we launched Wilmslow Youth - a local community initiative created to support young people from Wilmslow. It began with meeting focus groups of students at the school, identifying needs, and setting up an in-school mentoring programme.
Fast forward to 3 years later, we now have over 150 young people accessing our services every week, with the mentoring programme expanding (along with the creation of our mental health journal 'Trace'), and now accompanied by 5 ROC Cafe sessions a week, Scope workshops, our Counselling programme in partnership with Just Drop-In, school lunch clubs, ARC drama sessions, parenting courses, etc. It's been an amazing journey and we've loved every moment.
Our local work will continue to grow, with the addition of an alternative education programme starting in September for young people who are struggling to get into school due to difficulties with their emotional health. But there's a bigger picture developing too...
WHAT IS SOURCE?
Wilmslow Youth will now sit under the charitable status of Source Youthwork, which will be an umbrella charity encompassing both our local work here in Wilmslow, and our wider work supporting others who want to set up similar projects in their area. The charity will have three broad categories of work:
In short, we want to help those working with young people to adopt a whole community approach to meeting the needs of young in their area.
As we continue learning lessons through the little community of young people we're building in Wilmslow, we want to share our findings, share the resources we create, and be an encouragement to others who have a heart to support the young people they're in contact with.
We'll continue to share some of the work of Source as it grows, and we're really excited to see where it takes us!
ROC YOUTH CONVERSATION
In other news, last week we partnered with Redeeming Our Communities to host a Youth ROC Conversation, an event where young people meet together with community leaders to celebrate the good stuff going on for young people in Wilmslow, and to identify needs and discuss how those needs might be addressed.
It was a fantastic event, hosted by Wilmslow High School and sponsored by Churches Together in Wilmslow and Wilmslow Town Council. We had a brilliant turnout, and some great conversations happening. It was amazing to see young people taking the opportunity to have their voice heard, and to be part of making Wilmslow a great place to grow up.
We're now working to form an action group of young people and key community stakeholders to take the needs and solutions identified at the conversation and turn them into a reality. If you would like to read the full report from the event, you can download it here:
SOME MORE GOOD NEWS
Finally, we're thrilled to say that we have been awarded a grant from the National Lottery Community fund to run all 3 of our Friday ROC Café sessions for a full year. It's so important to us that everything we offer is free-to-access, as we never want money to be a barrier to young people being part of our communtiy. A huge thanks to the National Lottery for enabling us to keep doing just that.
That's all for now
Phew! It's been a busy month. More news just around the corner too, but if you've managed to read this far then you're doing well!
So we'll leave you with that, and hope you have a fantastic time enjoying the sunshine. As ever an enormous thanks to all those who keep supporting us as we go :)
Matt, Gemma & the WY Team