Newport church youth group is roaring success
10:55am Thursday 2nd January 2014 in News
TWO Newport youth groups aiming to build up relationships in the community have attracted hundreds of youngsters.
The King’s Church has seen hundreds of youngsters turn up to its two youth groups for young people aged between 11 and 30, aiming to provide a place for Newport’s youth to meet and engage in sociable activities.
The King’s Generation Youth hosts a Friday night club for those aged between 16 and 30 as well as a Sunday night group for those aged between 11 and 16, 5pm-7pm.
Over the past couple of months the group’s attendance has increased with between 70 and 120 young people turning up on a weekly basis.
The group’s leader pastor Heath Van Staden is delighted with the group’s success.
Mr Van Staden said: “We have such an array of people from different journeys in life, people who are single; married; students, and the Friday night group is a great alternative hang out for those who don’t want to hit the town. It is a really chilled environment, where we sometimes have live music and people can talk about what they want, ask what they want and feel what they want.”
They meet in both small and big groups to allow members to take part in a range of activities and get to know each other individually.
“The youth groups have been going on for 20 or more years, but it’s just the nights that have changed,” Mr Van Staden said. “We changed the dates as we don’t want to compete with other youth groups in the area, we want to give young people the opportunity to have two nights a week to hang out.”
Both groups follow a structured programme with around an hour and a half featuring games, discussion points, dances, and mentoring programmes.
“You are not going to find a traditional youth group with table tennis and people just standing around.” Mr Van Staden said.
“They are on the go for an hour and 30 minutes going from one thing to another so they are not left to their own devices.
“We have around 90 members in the 11-to-16 group and 70 to 120 members in the Friday night group but not everyone turns up every week as people are busy and have work.”
Mr Van Staden said that their main goal is to build relationships not necessarily keeping youth off the streets, although that is part of it.
“It’s all about building relationships. If you don’t build up relationships with these guys you can only keep them off the streets for so long.You can have big groups but it is also good to have small otherwise you never get to know these guys.”
During the sessions members also take part in a mentoring programme with a range of ages overseeing each group.
“We ask them how school is going and if there is anything we can help them with like the transition period from juniors to high school, and as the group is through the church we are not governed by anyone or need to reach any targets.”
As part of the project the sessions deal with real issues such as self image through the campaign “If you really knew me”and work with schools, as well as holding events such as a clothes swap to give clothes to members of the group who many need them while not singling anyone out. For more information call 01633 244453.
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