As a mother of 4 and foster carer of several teenagers who have recently been through schools in St. Albans, I have a deep concern for young people. The years in secondary school are a crucial time when they are forming values and beliefs which will affect the rest of their lives. I feel that there is so often an over-emphasis on academic achievement at a time when so much else is going on in young people’s lives. Step does so much to address these issues in a Christian context and it is a real joy to be a volunteer.
I am a recent addition to the team of volunteers, having started in September last year. I have been involved in retreat days, delivering sessions to 6th formers, Grill a Christian, Tough Stuff and Haven Schools. The Tough Stuff course, which is for young people dealing with loss through bereavement and family breakdown, has led to some 1:1 mentoring and Haven Schools is a wonderful opportunity to help young people suffering with anxiety. Engaging with these young people can be simultaneously and equally heart-wrenching and heart-warming as we help them to grapple with difficult issues in their lives and, most of all, offer them real hope – that things won’t always be as bad as perhaps they are at the moment. We don’t have a magic wand to wave but we do know the loving heavenly Father who cares deeply for each one. We can demonstrate that love and when opportunities arise we can speak about it… and all the time we are praying!
Whenever we go into a school we take the lovely presence of Jesus with us through the Holy Spirit. How good that in our wonderful, multi-ethnic society we are welcomed in schools as Christians. I love the diversity of the Step team in terms of the different church backgrounds and age range and it is good to be part of such a happy, caring and committed group of people. Through Step I feel that I see the church in action, powerfully impacting this young generation for good in the face of so much negativity.
Claire has run 42 activities in school since September.
We are keen to recruit people to help with all areas of the work. If you can make drinks, bake cakes, move chairs, come up with ideas or even laminate, you are needed. If you would like to explore the idea of volunteering with Step, please contact Terrie.