In September 2018, we are launching the Step Academy. We will be investing in people who choose to serve Step for a season, at change points in their lives. The Step Academy could be a hugely influential time in your life, whether you are just leaving school, leaving university, in a period of unemployment, retiring or maybe you have children who are moving up to school giving you more time during the day. More often than not, people will join the Step Academy for a whole school year but it could be for just a term. The role will vary for individuals based on their interests and talents but the Step Academy will provide opportunities for you to give, encourage, minister and serve in schools and in the office. We will help you to grow, to explore, be mentored and provided space.
Testimonies of Past Interns and Volunteers
Step previously has had an internship program, which has similarities with the Step Academy. We are now wanting to focus on working with all those at change points rather than simply younger people. With that in mind, here’s what just a few of the people we have invested in have to say about their experience.
Retired Primary School Teacher (CURRENT Step Volunteer)
Being a volunteer with Step rounds off my life. I have always lead a full and busy life and was concerned that when I retired I would not feel needed or valued. No need to worry there as right at the very beginning of my retirement I met Chris who invited me to come and work with the other Step volunteers. At first, I tried to do anything and everything on offer, to get to know just exactly what Step was all about and find out where I felt I most “fitted”. I now tend to do all the “Retreats” I can, the occasional lesson and all the Year 6 Transition Days in the summer, and because of my background in Primary Teaching this works well.
I couldn’t feel more valued and accepted by all the team. They encourage me, lift me up, seek my council and make me feel a valued member of their team. A team which is designed to look for ways of paying back by paying on and who try to find ways to ensure those who aren’t paid – get paid in kind. Shown in the fact they will soon be having a “Retreat” for the volunteers and they put on training for us so we are equipped to continue Step’s most important work of touching young people’s lives and telling them about Jesus. What better way is there to spend retirement?
Lawyer in London (Former Step intern)
I spent 2 years working for Step. It was meant to be a time of giving back and service. In fact it was a time where I was discipled, led and nurtured by a team of people that I still consider to be some of the wisest and godly people I know. It was a privilege to work with them.
My character (strengths and weaknesses) was seen clearly by the team from the beginning and I was invited always to challenge the assumptions and expectations that had formed me. Importantly I think, I always felt incredibly valued - I was meant to be there, be part of the team and I had something to give.
Since my time at Step I have been to university and law school. I now work in the City amongst some of the brightest people I've ever met. At no point have I doubted the foundation that my time at Step gave me in terms of learning about people, focusing on what matters and always seeing the bigger picture, nor have a met an employer who takes such care in honouring and developing its employees.
(FORMER STEP VOLUNTEER)
The team at Step are a friendly and welcoming bunch!
They were prepared to give their time when I was keen to serve. They listened and then provided a role that suited me, offering direction and encouragement. Chris spoke to me about the vision for Step, allowing me to offer comment and encouragement. The team made me feel part of their work and were gracious when ideas were suggested.
The team are hard working and fun, they lead by example. They appreciate the volunteers who give their time to Step, and they show clearly the Christian love they have for the children in the schools. The Step team are passionate about teaching in schools and being witnesses to Jesus' love - this is infectious and the volunteers and children alike respect and love them for it.
youth Pastor at holy trinity brompton (FORMER STEP INTERN/EMPLOYEE)
My internship years with Step were some of the most influential of my life and shaped my sense of self and calling in a deep and purposeful way. I was surrounded by exceptionally gifted leaders who were able to draw a better leader out of me. There was a deeply authentic sense of friendship and family in the team, which made it a really safe place to learn and grow. I felt 100% invested in and valued for who I was as a person, and not just for what I could do in the team. I am the youth worker I am today because of the skills and values I learnt at Step and I will be ever grateful to God for them and the years spent as part of the team.
primary school teacher (FORMER STEP INTERN)
My year with Step showed me that God really did have a plan for my life that was much bigger and much more exciting than my own! Through my internship God grew in me the skills and qualities to inspire young people in a classroom environment. I got a real buzz out of the teaching, especially when I was encouraging teenagers to talk about issues surrounding their lives and beliefs. It also enabled me to think creatively about the best way to approach topics with pupils. Not only did I meet and work with some incredible young people, I worked in a team who was wholly supportive in my walk with Jesus and enabled me grow deeper in my faith. To top it all off, they made me laugh every day and we ate a lot of cake!
Commercial archaeological consultant (FORMER STEP INTERN)
The year I spent with Step was one of transformation for me. It felt like I took my faith out of the box where it had been cherished and nurtured but rarely challenged and certainly not set on fire. It’s here I learnt to talk naturally about my faith, as an expression of love rather than a duty, and began to lose the fear of how doing so might change how people saw me. I learnt the value of infusing the day with worship and prayer, throughout the ordinariness of it all. And I loved being able to build relationships with students and with the team.
I joined Step in early 2007 with the support of Chris Barron to help look at the accounts function. I had previously been at home looking after my children and genuinely thought that there was not large enough chunks of time in a day to do anything useful or interesting outside of my home. Joining Step showed me that I could manage to work and that I had something valuable to give. I stayed four years (after expecting only to be there for a few months to cover maternity leave). This was a hugely important opportunity for me as it showed me that I did have something useful to contribute even within school hours, and it gave me the confidence to do it. I had tremendous support from Chris Evans and the whole team who made me feel that I did an important job and encouraged me so much when things didn't go as well as they should have (like when I lost all the data off my pc).
My experience at Step was so important in helping me make a difficult jump from home back to work. Through Chris Evans' support I was able to learn a lot of new skills in running a finance function and dealing with different people which continue to be so valuable. Thank you, Chris, for your patience understanding and encouragement.
(FORMER STEP INTERN)
My year at step was so influential in my later life. It developed my skills in training which I still use every day, gave me some huge lessons in attitude, showed me how to utilise my creativity in a white collar environment and helped me on my path of belief and my relationship with God, which changed from a rules based relationship to an action through example.
lead guitarist in Verra Cruz (FORMER STEP INTERN)
Working with step was such an amazing time in my life. Time and time again we saw God opening doors for us to share about Jesus in natural ways- always with the questions coming from the kids. As a musician I learned how to connect with a room full of people. I learned how to rely on the Holy Spirit's power to work through our weakness. We also laughed a lot, drunk coffee, and listened to Pearl Jam in the office whilst pretending to work!
church youth worker in Hemel Hempstead (FORMER STEP INTERN)
Being an intern at Step was one of the best years of my life. They gave me the space to figure out who I am, not only as a person but as a woman of God. But they also pushed me to do more than I ever thought I'd be able to do. I came to Step feeling broken and lost and through their love and encouragement they helped me find my way and figure out what I should be doing.
For me it was having the support to enable me come into work when I had never worked before, and that it is in an unpressured environment. You helped to encourage me to do new tasks, without pushing me too hard. Also the very flexible nature of when I could come in and do some work was very helpful at the time. It was nice to be able to work with kind people who cared a lot. Also Step does very positive work and it was motivating to contribute to something that is doing a lot of good for the community.