Two years on, the apprenticeship scheme extends across the Diocese
If you are a regular visitor to the news pages, you will know that for the last two years, the Diocese has been supporting a number of young apprentices who run children’s and youth work in churches across the Diocese. Below, former Apprenticeship Project Coordinator Jenny Barnard, reports on a recent visit organised by the Youth Worker St Hugh’s Northolt, Sam Benjamin.
Last year, we profiled Sam Benjamin, who is now in his second year, after having an action-packed time at St Hugh’s. During a recent visit to Odds Farm, in Beaconsfield, Sam and a group of young people and children had a great afternoon feeding kid-goats and chickens, collecting eggs, going on a tractor ride and go karts and having fun in the play barn, but the real significance of the day was summed up by Natalie, the children’s champion from St Hugh’s, who said:
“This trip just wouldn’t have happened without Sam being an apprentice at St Hugh’s; he’s brought more children and young people into the church. They connect to Sam; they get on with him and want to come to all the activities.”
Her words demonstrate how the apprenticeship scheme is having a big impact on a local parish level.
Sam was working in the hospitality industry before joining the apprenticeship scheme. Now, since starting the Apprenticeship Scheme he has successfully completed functional skills Level 2 in Maths, English and IT and gained a merit in the Level 3 Diploma in Youth work. He is also now on the Youth Ministry degree course at St Mellitus while he continues to develop the youth work initiatives he established in his first year.
As well as three Messy Church outreach events held last year, Sam has established a Saturday youth group, a monthly youth service and a programme of holiday activities. More recently, Sam wanted to focus on the discipleship of the young people and so began a Youth Alpha course on a Friday after school, and had 18-young people turn up for the first week of the course.
His apprenticeship at St Hugh’s has helped to motivate and inspire others to get involved in ministry to young people. Sophia, who has recently joined the youth work team, as a volunteer commented:
“The teens never want to go home after Saturday youth group. Sam has a nice bond with them. Some of the young people are there because they have nowhere to go and they have the relationship with Sam.”
Sam’s example shows how the apprenticeship scheme is investing in the lives of children and young people across London and we are raising up new youth leaders who are being given the opportunity to ‘learn while they earn’ on parish placements.
This year, the scheme has been extended to the Stepney and Edmonton areas too and we are looking for candidates to fit our placements across these areas.
If you’d like to know more about becoming an apprentice youth worker in either area, you can find out more by emailing, Rachel Walker.