• Mail

    sharon@realityyouthproject.co.uk

  • Telephone

    0116 286 6329

  • Church

    St Peter’s Church, Church Lane, Whetstone, Leicester, LE8 6BA

    St Michael’s Church, Main Street, Cosby, Leicestershire, LE9 1UW

Hi I’m Sharon and I’m the Team Leader at Whetstone and Cosby. Read below to find out what I’ve been up to recently. You’ll also find my contact details below if need to get in touch with me.

Junior Church: Continues with our dedicated two members; Alex and Lara. The outreach that took place last year, at the school fayre and the Breakfast party, hasn’t provided us with any new members. The plan is to continue running JC whilst we have members and willing volunteers to lead, whilst continuing to outreach to the community and to review the situation.
Youth United: We have two new members to the group this term. They enjoyed a social trip to the cinema to see Pitch Perfect 3. The biggest project has been joining together with young people at Kirby Muxloe Free Church to have food, social time and to get involved with the HOPE Mission Academy project. We do this once a month. In April we joined them and their adult congregation for a contemporary service called ‘Inspire’. Bible studies have been on the topics such as ‘God as Mother’ and Easter. On Mothering Sunday, the young people from Youth United along with some from Hub led the service and on Mothering Sunday and Easter Sunday they held a cake sale after the service to raise funds for resources. For the last few weeks they have been busy preparing for the Youth Service on May 6th. All are welcome to this service at St. Michael’s Coby, refreshments served from 6pm, service begins at 6.30pm.
Youth House Group: Have continued with Youth Alpha film series and attended a talk by Rev. Chris Allen called ‘Easter in Christmas’.

Discovery at Countesthorpe Leysland College has been following the Youth Alpha Film Series. This month I will be supporting year 10 GCSE students with GCSE RE revision.

Along with support from my RYP colleagues I held Easter assemblies for pupils at Countesthorpe Leysland and Thomas Estley Community College.

Thomas Estley Community College: Alongside Helen, I led a Sex & Relationships course at Thomas Estley Community College. Another course is booked to begin this month.

Primary School: The regular primary school assemblies have continued; and excitingly a four week ‘after school’ club is scheduled to run at St. Peter’s Primary school for year 5 & 6 pupils, beginning in June. If this is successful we will look at making it a permanent fixture and to extend it to Badgerbrook school.

COMMUNITY: Hub Youth Café: Has two new members as a direct result of the Easter assemblies at Countesthorpe Leysland school. However, numbers are low in general. So it’s time to begin a review of Hub and how to go forward in a way that serves the young people in Whetstone more effectively. A grant was received from BDC, so we have been able to purchase a freezer of our own, a new PS4 console and a new speaker system for the group.
Hangout: Hangout: Is flourishing on a weekly basis and a record seven members attended the WKND event in March. (There were eleven form the benefice as a whole).
A Hangout Steering Committee meeting was held, where the future of Hangout, given the decision by St. Michael’s church to withdraw funding from September onwards, was discussed. It was felt that as Hangout is flourishing and considered a real asset to the community, we would urge to PCC members to consider ways in which Hangout could continue to be run under the guidance of the youth worker. As a result, St. Michael’s PCC are considering the possibility of paying for the group to run on a ‘sessional basis’. Mike Kelly (Diocesan Youth Ministry Officer) attended the meeting and suggested that we would be eligible for a Growth Fund Tier 1 grant of up to £5,000 to build on the foundations that have now been laid.
A Hangout volunteers meeting was held and Sharon presented some training on ‘Responding to Challenging Behaviour’.
Mentoring: Continues with four young people.

PROJECTS and EVENTS:
The next big event is the Royal Tea Party RYP Fundraiser. Being held on Saturday May 19th at Oadby Baptist church. The event will run from 11am – 3pm when ‘Teas’ will be served. The wedding will be broadcast live throughout the afternoon and there will be wedding themed crafts and activities for children. Feel free to get dressed up and wear a hat! The event is free, but if you are able to make a donation towards the wider work of Reality Youth project, it will be very much appreciated. In order to make this event accessible to all I have put a list at the back of both churches for the names of those that would like to attend and who would like a lift with someone, or who can offer a lift.
Ncounter Summer will be held August 5th-9th – look out for further information, coming soon!

God Bless Sharon

CHURCHES:
Junior Church: The Christmas presentation went well on December 17th. The children and young people presented a retelling of ‘The Three Christmas Trees’, played musical instruments and led prayers. It was very well received by the congregation and they received lots of compliments. The presentation was followed by a party in the parish centre where they enjoyed playing games. Jo, Jess, Deborah and Sharon attended St. Peter’s School Christmas fayre earlier in December, where they provided free Christmas crafts for children at the fayre. The activities were popular and well received and it proved to be a good opportunity to advertise what we do and there was some genuine interest in JC from parents, which is promising.
The ‘re-launch’ party in October was poorly attended by new families, but overall, the near future of the group looks positive as connections with potential new members have been made through the party and school fayre. some of the families we met came along to the Christingle making afternoon and joined us for the service and chatted over refreshments.
Youth United: Has enjoyed steady numbers due to our dedicated members. This term they have been very busy; putting together and delivering the benefice Pet Service, collecting items for three Christmas shoe boxes for the Samaritan’s purse appeal. For Halloween night they created the ‘Fiery Furnace trunk’ and helped on the night giving away hot chocolate and hotdogs. Three of them attended the WKND event in Oadby. And for the Christmas Tree festival they baked tree decorations and finally they helped at the Christingle service.
Youth House Group: Emma has joined us and together we are following the Youth Alpha film series, which is raising lots of interesting questions!
Harvest Festival at St. Peter’s: Was led by some of our young people this year. Those that joined were from Hub, Youth United and Junior Church and they did a brilliant job of it. A special ‘’well-done’’ goes to Aine for her talk.

SCHOOLS: Discovery at Countesthorpe Leysland College is going well, with a steady, consistent group of young people. We started the term off with games and chat in order to become acquainted with each other better. In the second part of the term we have been following the Youth Alpha film series, which seems to be having quite an impact on those from non-church families.
Ignite at Thomas Estley Community College has been put on ‘pause’ as we only had two consistent members who are also members of YU and Hub. A meeting was held between myself, the school head and the families worker from Sutton in Elms church to discuss how we could better serve the pupils and staff going forward. As a result of this the school have booked an Abundant life course and 3 sets of assemblies are booked for the next two terms. It’s hoped that by meeting, sharing and supporting pupils in these ways that Ignite may be a viable option again.
As well as the usual term-time assemblies, I had the pleasure of speaking at Cosby Primary school’s KS2 Harvest assembly, which was also attended by parents.
In Whetstone CTiW made the decision to hold a schools’ Christmas service for every pupil in the village, as there wouldn’t be a Carols around the tree event. So myself and Nicola from WBC held 2 identical services on Dec 4th in the URC church. The children seemed to enjoy it very much, especially the interactive bits, and they were all given a Christmas story pamphlet to take home to read.

COMMUNITY: Hub Youth Café: numbers are steady and the new young leaders have settled in very well. Everyone was busy making tee decorations for the Tree Festival and helping out at the Trunk or Treat Event. Three of them took part in this year’s Christingle service.
Hangout: Has gone to one group. This decision was made in consultation with the young people, many explained that they are not allowed to be out until 10pm by their parents and so could not come to group 2. The new times were trialed through October and it worked well, so we have stuck with it. This was a wise decision as we now have good numbers of attendees covering all eligible ages. Since the nights have got shorter and colder, a fire-pit has been introduced to the sessions, this has worked wonders for the relationships with the group, both between members and members & volunteers. The young leaders at Hangout are doing a sterling job and are taking their responsibilities seriously, which is great to see.
Leaders and young leaders from Hangout and Hub joined together in September for a night of ten-pin bowling and a meal. The business meeting planned for November has been postponed until January 2018.
Reality Training Day: Was held on September 30th. Four volunteers from across the benefice joined others from across the county for a day of training and worship.

PROJECTS and EVENTS: The WKND was held at Oadby Baptist church and attended by four young people from our benefice. They enjoyed spending time with their friends from across Leicestershire and the rest of the Reality youth team.
Aine, Joel and myself attended a relaxed dinner with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. It was held for members of Bishops Youth Council and youth workers, at the home of Bishop Martin. Justin was very chatty and showed a lot of interest in the young people and their lives, he had a great sense of humour and was very humble. This was followed by the ‘ In Jesus Name’ event at Leicester Arena, which was an amazing event, bringing together Christians from across the city and county from all kinds of denominations and traditions.

OTHER:
I completed a the ‘Youth Mental Health First Aid’ course in September 2017.
I began the Journey in Faith Course in October 2017.

As many of you will have heard by now, I am beginning the process of selection to Ordained Pioneer Ministry. The process takes over a year to complete, when I will be given the decision as to whether I have been chosen for training or not. If I am successful in my application, training is expected to begin in September 2019.
This of course throws up all kinds of other questions and decisions for our parishes to make concerning my eventual standing down as the youth worker in this benefice. Sadly, St. Michael’s PCC have made the decision that they cannot continue beyond 2018. The congregation of St. Peter’s are going to be consulted about the way forward on 14th to help the PCC make their decision. This meeting will take place after the morning service on January 14th, all are welcome and encouraged to attend, if possible. Please pray for God to be in the conversations that will be had at that meeting and ultimately for His will to be done for the young people and the community of Whetstone, in the coming years.

News:
Emma has joined Youth House group and tells me she is really enjoying it.
We now have 7 very enthusiastic Young Leaders at Hangout. All but one are boys, they look very professional in their new uniform and are doing a fantastic job, a real credit to the themselves and the group.
Aine, Joel and Sharon are to meet Justin Welby the Archbishop of Canterbury on Nov 14th as part of his visitation to Leicester. He is meeting with members of Bishop’s Youth Council and Youth workers to hear their thoughts and ideas.
Sharon completed the two-day Youth mental First Aid course and has a certificate to prove it!
Sharon

Give Thanks :
For the Pet Service, for the experiences and understanding it gave to YU who organised it.
Harvest All-Age service at St. Peter’s led by young people.
Harvest assemblies at Cosby school. The whole school and many parents gave thanks to God for His goodness.
A very successful Trunk or Treat event. 500 or more people attended and heard 9 Bible stories.
Hangout Steering committee met for the first time and it was a productive meeting.
Hangout volunteers enjoyed a ‘social’ evening of ten-pin bowling and food, including 5 of the young leaders
For all the support the youthwork receives. For the volunteers, those that pray and those that provide financially. Also for the support of the Diocese.
For sufficient funds to continue the work in 2018 & beyond and for those that fundraise and apply for g

Please Pray
For wisdom as to how to move Hub into the next year. Numbers are very low and the team and young leaders are thinking about how we can reach more young people through it.
For wisdom, particularly for Sharon, as we seek to set a vision and action-plan for the future of the Youth work in our benefice.
For a safe and happy time at the WKND event. That Christian young people and leaders will be a positive witness to those that are attending.
That our financial needs will continue to be met.

Diary Dates
November 17th-18th: WKND
November 25th: Cosby Christmas Fair
November 25th-26th: Whetstone Tree Festival
November 28th: Hangout Team Business meeting.
December 1st: Cosby Christmas Lights Switch on
December 4th: Schools carol Service by CTiW
December 9th: St. Peter’s school fair-JC team will be offering free crafts activities.
December 10th: Christingle Services
December 17th: Junior Church Christmas presentation and party.