18 January 2013

Could your church project use a young person's help?

Church and youth leaders are being invited to offer placements to young people on the popular One Programme. 

The Church's Children and Youth Team is inviting churches to put forward their projects for selection by filling out the Host Project Application Pack and returning it to them before the 1 March deadline. 

The One Programme is a paid year out for young people aged 16 to 23-years-old. The participants (known as OPPs) are paid to work 15 hours a week: nine hours in a local project and six hours for training and other Connexional work. The projects are selected by a panel of young people and key-workers.  

Hayley Moss, Methodist Youth President, said: "The One Programme is an excellent opportunity both for the young people and the projects hosting them. Young people get stuck in to an exciting local project and participate in an excellent training programme alongside other young people from across the UK. Churches benefit from having an enthusiastic, dedicated young person involved in their work. I loved my year on The One Programme. I think it is a fantastic, challenging, worthwhile experience both for young people and their host projects. Everybody wins!"

Last year Matt Parker was based at Hart Foodbank after Fleet Methodist Church, which runs the project, applied to host a OPP placement. Working within a team where most volunteers were over-fifty, Matt was able to give a fresh perspective to the group decision-making. The Foodbank had only just been set up when he joined, so he was able to watch it grow from a small-scale project to one that helped more people every week.  

John Howard, District Chair for the Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury District, said:  " I am delighted with what the One Programme is doing. I think it has been one of the most exciting initiatives taken in youth work in recent years. Young people have been given the opportunity to show how they can contribute to the church and their local community. One young person in my District worked in a youth cafe for the year and made a significant difference to the work that was being done there."  

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