Norfolk Christian youth project celebrates 10 years
A thanksgiving service was held on November 1 at the House of Prayer in Norwich to mark the ten year anniversary of local Christian youth charity ENYP. Helen Baldry reports.
The charity was founded in 2007 by Danny Doran Smith as the ‘East Norwich Youth Project’, involving 8 local churches to work with young people in deprived areas. Ten years on, the organisation has expanded, still with Danny at the helm, to partner with over 40 churches and reach as far as Lowestoft.
Still called ‘ENYP’, the acronym now stands for ‘Equipping and Nurturing Young People’ – a mission that has had a remarkable impact on hundreds of young people, some of whom gave testimonies on the night and attended the service to celebrate the growth of this well loved organisation.
Danny said of the ten year anniversary, “It means so much to me. It’s my life. It’s my passion.”
Danny spoke of the many years of family strife in his own childhood. He described it as “a childhood you tried to escape from.” Homeless at the age of 11, Danny knows how it feels to yearn for a home. His vision for ENYP was to be a sanctuary for young people – a home of joy, laughter and safety and a place where people are accepted and loved. The purpose of ENYP has always been to care for the poor, those experiencing financial hardship and children who have difficult family lives. Danny’s method of working is to be constantly looking forward. He is skilled at expanding projects and sourcing funding for them. He said, “We like to expand things. We don’t like to stay the same.”
Bishop Graham, patron of the charity, said, “I pay tribute to Danny and all the team for their pioneering capacity.”
Many young people spoke of increased confidence after linking with ENYP activities. The impact of ENYP’s work is that a generation has been equipped to start believing in themselves and to have a voice.
Lucie, who has worked for ENYP for several years said, “ENYP has taught me to be true to the call God has put on my life.” She described it as “an organic and passionate place to work. God is well and truly at the centre. The desire to see the city saved is the fuel for what we do.”
The House of Prayer was decorated with balloons and bunting made by the young people. A band led a packed church in worship and everybody enjoyed an amazing cake afterwards.
ENYP has been on an incredible, and sometimes challenging, journey in the last ten years and has enjoyed exceptional growth both geographically and in the breadth of services offered to young people. Here’s to the next ten years!