REFLECT Community Church/Centre was awarded Youth Led Grant funding in the fall 2021. As we prepare to launch the YLG funding application for 2022/23 this April, we have been inspired by REFLECT’s project and their aspirations for youth support and engagement in Ely.
Currently, the centre have various projects running to engage all community members, including a Kids Club project. Youth Led Grant funding has made it possible for this group to make its return to the centre with lots of new games, consoles and activities for young people to engage with. Along with that, REFLECT are hosting various events and activities, such as a theatre group, during the week which will invite people of all backgrounds within the community into a safe environment of fun. The centre is located right in the middle of Grand Avenue – which is the perfect place to invite youth in to a safe place where they can build relationships, find some role models to look up to and feel welcome. The project lead, Abbie Prothero, said,
‘All we do, we want community to be at the heart of it. We want to bring the community together.’
REFLECT will continue to focus on involving young people in decisions on how the building is used, and aims to be a beacon of hope within the Ely area. Part of this involved hosting meetings to let the volunteers feedback about their experiences and needs for support. Abbie went on to say, ‘the atmosphere created, I feel from being a volunteer, is one where you can say what you think and feels safe in your thoughts. It makes volunteering not feel like a pressure but its more so fun to be involved and fun to be here.’
The wider vision and aim for the project is to inspire the young people and to have an influence on their character and to see there’s more to life.
REFLECT’s experience with the Youth Led Grant has been one of growth and learning, and has demonstrated the necessity of having strong values at the core of youth work. They have also come to realise that partnership working with other groups in Ely is essential to building a strong network of support for young people living in their community.
The good work will not stop with the closing of the Youth Led Grant project. In May, REFLECT will be partnering with an outreach program called The Message to engage with youth in the unique setting of a double decker coach outfitted with game consoles, nails stations – and volunteers who will give their time to connect with the community. This will offer a worthwhile opportunity for REFLECT volunteers to learn more about effectively supporting young people to reach their full potential.
We are very excited to see their project develop and continue to have a positive impact on the community in Ely!
If you would like to learn more about how you can be involved with the Youth Led Grant, visit the web page: Youth Led Grant Page