Willesden Apprentices: Meet Nikkita Robert
Last week, we started introducing the Willesden Apprentices who run youth and children’s work in west London. The apprentices were appointed following the Bishop of London’s 2015 lent appeal, aiming to fund youth workers and double the number of young people involved in local churches.
While taking their apprenticeship, the four individuals spend the first year studying a Level 3 diploma in Christian work with Young people and Communities, at YMCA George Williams College.
This series of interviews started with Samuel Benjamin from, St Hugh’s Church in Northolt. So heading towards Pentecost – the church’s birthday – we are introducing the next Willesden Apprentice, Nikkita Robert, 23, who is building the church of the future in five Southhall parishes. She grew up in the area and loves writing poetry for her blog.
You’ve been an apprentice for a few months now, how have you settled into your new role?
Yes. I have settled in really well, I’m definitely enjoying each moment.
What have been the high points so far?
My first group project (with the five churches youth members) has been running a Youth Alpha course. It has been great seeing the young people discuss and discover new things about their faith and becoming more open within the group.
What has been the biggest challenge?
My set-up is really unique, in terms of dealing with five different churches. I think there has been a challenge in terms of figuring out what my role looks like in each location and how I can help either their existing children’s or youth ministry.
Why do you like working with young people?
I like working with young people because they are refreshing, they are open to change and they make me laugh!
What are you reading at the moment?
Aside from our YMCA Unit training books, I am currently reading The Book of the Night Women by Marlon James.
Has anything about being an apprentice surprised you?
If anything, I think it is about how much we are learning daily but that is a great experience.
How do you balance your work commitments with the Level 3 course?
I have a study day, but I also study during the week when I have extra time where I will focus on the specific unit for that particular month.
What are you looking forward to?
I looking forward to change and I’m excited for when the Young Alpha course is finished, so the young people can evaluate the change in their lives and how different they are.
Have you learnt something new about yourself?
I personally think I am always learning, but I’ve learnt or got better at knowing not all of the events I plan can be in my control. For example, when Alpha began I worried about numbers and how many young people would turn up, but actually handing it over to God was great for me, because I never had control of that specific issue anyway.
How do you think we can help more children and young people to connect and engage with the church?
I think we need to make church adaptable to their needs and cater to the young people, rather than attempt to enforce a pre-historic version of church.
Nikkita has previously been featured on the Ambassador for Christ webpages.
To find out about becoming an apprentice, please contact Rachel Walker, Apprenticeship Project Coordinator.