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/ 23 July 2013

XLP celebrates graduation of its class of 2013

XLP, the London-based urban youth charity, has this week celebrated the graduation of its latest intake of gap year students.

The service at St Botolph without Aldgate celebrated the achievements and growth of the 20 young people who have been serving communities in London this year as part of XLP’s longstanding ‘Experience’ urban youthwork and theology gap year. As part of the service, the graduates spoke about their experiences during the year and shared their challenges and achievements. Two short films about the work of XLP borough teams were also shown.

The graduates, who come from a range of backgrounds and from all over the UK, have spent the year taking part in a combination of youth work and theology training.

They have joined XLP’s teams running schools and community work in inner-London boroughs including Tower Hamlets, Newham, Islington and Camden. The work is a great example of how churches in London are already working with their communities to put into practice Capital Vision 2020, the Diocese of London’s strategic plan for serving London by committing to be more ‘confident, compassionate and creative’.

XLP stands for "The eXceL Project" and is a Christian charity at the cutting edge of urban youth work in the UK. It was started by Patrick Regan OBE, a church youthworker, in Peckham, South London, in 1996 after a stabbing in a local school playground.

Today, XLP – which works equally with young people of all faiths and none – works with over 1,000 young people and their families in schools and communities across seven inner-London boroughs each week and engages with over 12,000 young people per year. The charity operates in partnership with local churches on a range of projects such as after-schools clubs, detached youthwork, mentoring, community buses, arts and sports, and summer camps.

Patrick Regan OBE, CEO of XLP, said:

"Experience is about putting faith into action. Our students discovered some of the challenges that many young people face in the inner city: poverty, addiction, exclusion and poor housing; yet as they start working with these young people they also see the possibilities of change and in the process, are changed themselves. This year has been no different."

Find out more about XLP and the Experience Gap Year: www.xlp.org.uk.

Image credit: XLP

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