Norwich charity hits fundraising halfway mark
Two years ago, Norwich Youth for Christ launched their fundraising campaign 500 Fivers, where they encouraged people to commit to giving £5 a month to their work. At the end of the summer they hit their half way mark, prompting the employment a fulltime schools worker.
Nick Blanch Director said “Funding had decreased dramatically between 2009 and 2012 and so we were struggling financially but we also wanted to think aspirationally as well. I felt a burden to have a greater presence in schools and give young people the opportunity to engage with faith in a relevant and engaging way”.
NYFC started to build on their existing work in schools, offering prayer spaces and an interactive journey through the Easter story and had incredible results. Students reacted positively to the projects, 92% of the students who visited the prayer space said it was a positive experience. One young person remarked “before I did this I didn’t believe in God and now I do”.
The Easter journey was similar, with 88% of pupils rating it as a positive lesson and comments included “I learnt a lot - like how Jesus died” and “I found it amazing!”
Nick states “It was obvious that we needed a schools worker to take these projects and grow them further. When one of our staff members church funding ended in August, although we hadn’t reached our fundraising target, we had got half way and the trustees felt we had to take the opportunity and move Paul Roast into a schools work role”.
The timing has worked alongside the ‘Who Cares?’ project which this September launched into schools. Paul will be delivering the project across 7 schools and supporting other churches and organisations in a further 10 schools.
In the future Paul will be delivering the ‘Who Cares?’ response phase as well as delivering a wide variety of programmes that are of interest to schools whilst also communicating who Jesus is and why He is important to young people.
Paul said “Schools are still open to visitors but they are wary of just anyone coming in. They want to know you can be professional and respect the boundaries. Relationship and trust are a key part of working in schools. ”
NYFC are still hoping to see more people give to their 500 Fivers scheme to ensure the sustainability of Paul’s role and see further growth in their schools work. If you would like an NYFC worker to visit your church to talk about the work or if you would like more information, please contact the office on 01603 620678.
Pictured above: the Norwich YFC team and below: Paul Roast
Click here for more information about the 500 Fivers appeal