Norwich churches take Hope onto the streets
Several city churches and ENYP have teamed up for a week of social action with young people on the streets of Norwich
as part of Hope on the Streets.
With a team of around 100 people East Norwich Youth Project, St Mary Magdalene and Norwich Central Baptist Church teamed up for ‘Hope on the Streets’ (HOTS) at the end of July. Each of the three areas ran social action projects, designed to impact local communities and family fun day activities. Below, ENYP gives a snapshot of the projects it ran as part of HOTS in the Thorpe area, and the activities running in the autumn term.
Danny Doran-Smith, ENYP Senior Worker
said: “HOTS brought together people, young and old from a wide range of denominations to unite and partner with local SNAP teams and services across the east of Norwich. This project offered the police, community, and Christians a fresh opportunity to engage with our local community to make a small difference in many people’s lives. We are thankful for the many opportunities to reach out with love and compassionate service during HOTS.”
Lucie Fox, ENYP Administrator said: “During HOTS we had the privilege of running and overseeing several projects to impact the Thorpe area of Norwich. We ran a children’s dance and sports club called ‘EQUIP’; a café for parents and the community; went litter picking and road clearing around the streets of Thorpe Hamlet; helped in a local supermarket with bag packing and assisting customers; and working on a garden project at Lionwood Infant School.
“We were encouraged at the impact these projects had, and the opportunity to meet the local community and build relationships with them. On Saturday 26 July, the family fun day saw over 350 members of the local community join us for food, fun and entertainment.”
Whilst opportunities like HOTS are fantastic to make a bigger impact on local areas, the work shouldn’t end there. The reality of the needs of communities were brought home during the week as we travelled through the area and chatted to local residents, and the work of serving them should never cease. Many ENYP activities for the coming months have been born out of interest expressed by the people we served, and our awareness and desire to continue to bless the community.
EQUIP to Dance Off!
During HOTS children were encouraged to participate in EQUIP, and around 70 children came during the two days, many of whom returned on the family fun day to perform their dance routines and compete in sports. Kate Doran-Smith, one of the EQUIP leaders, said: “’EQUIP!’ was a free multi-sports camp for children aged 4 to 13. We ran two programmes at the same time; team sports and personal fitness with over 60 children attending. A fun-filled, high-energy time was had by all. We covered many activities, from kwik cricket to kae bo.
“At the family fun day, we performed four dances for a crowd and a mini sports tournament took place. Feedback has been very positive, one mum even went so far as to say that her daughter was a changed child since attending EQUIP, as her confidence and willingness to participate in sport had rocketed. This was the kind of response that we were hoping for, as it came from a local mum who had not had any previous contact with ENYP or church in general.”
There has been an impressive response from both children and their parents for ongoing activities like EQUIP. As a result, two new dance groups (Dance Off!) will be starting in the autumn term, for children and young people aged 4 to 7 and 8 to 18. For more information please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
DJ Studio / Workshops & Art Club
A noticeable interest was given at the fun day for children to express their creative abilities through clubs such as DJ workshops, Music and Art. An Art Club was launched prior to HOTS, and the young people who attended created a mural of Hope that was displayed during the week. This club will continue in the autumn term, and expand on the creative techniques that were used in previous sessions.
Many expressed interest in music and DJing, and towards the end of the autumn term ENYP are set to launch a series of DJ workshops and a long term DJ Studio giving young people the opportunity to explore skills in DJing and music production.
Gardening & The A Team
During HOTS, a major revamp took place at Lionwood Infant School to begin the creation of an outdoor theatre. This project is nearing completion and comments from teachers of the school have been very positive so far. The A Team (ENYP’s social action team), will continue to finish this garden in the coming weeks. This project has provided a valuable opportunity in blessing one of the local Primary Schools.
Part of the aim of HOTS was to provide more opportunities for people to explore Christianity. In September, ENYP will launch a Youth Alpha café, alongside an established youth club, giving time and space for young people to ask questions and understand more about the Christian faith. For more information email: email@example.com
During October and November there will be a youth café running on alternative Sunday evenings in the Thorpe Hamlet area, to engage with young people and build relationships with them. In December, a Drum and Base event is also planned. For details please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
“We thank God for his continued provision in the work undertaken, for the relationships in the community which continue to be built, and pray that his will and work will unfold over the coming months,” said Lucie.