We first experienced, in 2012, the undeniable need and calling for us to begin supporting a few young adults who had been former street living children; rescued, restored through care homes and leaving to return to their families but then ending up back in street life once again. We had seen this sad cycle grow significantly in Guatemala and when returning to the UK, we saw the same need though it was much more hidden. What we learnt about working with this profile of young people in Guatemala has been very helpful as we approach our UK work.
2019 has seen a massive increase with Churches and Community groups partnering with us to start YLP Hubs working with young people in the UK. The challenges faced by young people today are harsh – younger children, even of primary school age are being recruited by County Lines gangs. Our children’s lives are being stolen and as they become young adults and onwards into their lives they carry massive pain and trouble resulting in ever increasing numbers of young people with mental health issues and more. Different expressions of delivery providing creative solutions are now occurring in 60 locations in the UK that 2 years ago were not happening.
Specialist mentoring, mentoring support for teenage Dads, working with young people in gangs to find a positive and legal way of using their entrepreneurial skills, social groups using media as a way of expressing life’s struggles, enterprise hubs helping young people to obtain the skills necessary to gain and keep employment to name a few, but all with the aim of helping young people to change their lives and their communities positively in relevant ways. We provide regular, ongoing training, support and shared experience into our network of Hubs.
"The project makes me happy and helps with my anxiety, it has helped my photography skills and my confidence. I'm hoping the project will support and lead me into a full-time photography job." Alfie, Swansea Hub
This has been beyond anything we expected and it appears that there are many churches and community groups in the UK ready and wanting the help we can provide – little did we realise that 5 young people in Guatemala, greeting us one night, who had returned to street life after being rescued, restored and returned to their families, unfortunately, due to no fault of their own, could inspire this work in the UK.
Alastair & Debbie Welford
Partner with Nicodemus, together we can do more: If there’s a youth project that your church or community group has a vision for, then please get in touch with our Partnerships Manager, Kameron Clash: firstname.lastname@example.org