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Gorleston youth project launches online outreach

The Identity Youth Project has been inspiring young people in Gorleston during the coronavirus restrictions with a series of on-line videos which have been viewed almost 10,000 times.

This small charity based in Gorleston has seen their group engagement increase with one of their groups growing twofold since lockdown. During this period, Identity Youth Project has provided young people with a diverse range of online activities and opportunities for social interaction. The activities have ranged from: Daily Devotionals, Workout Wednesday, and Friday Funday videos to Zoom gatherings throughout the week.
“During this challenging period, young people have had time on their hands, a need for interaction and a love for technology. This is a combination that Identity Youth Project has utilised well” said Matt Ashpole, Identity’s Youth Work Leader, pictured above. “We’ve been presented with a unique opportunity within the field of youth ministry. Our incredible volunteers and I have worked hard to increase our programme and further support young people during this difficult time”
They have increased the frequency of their pre-existing groups and set up an additional group for midweek interaction. Due to this their (virtual) contact time has increased with some young people engaging with activities as frequently as four times per week.
Prior to the pandemic Identity Youth Project had not produced any online content for young people to engage with. To date, they now have a library of 167 videos freely available via their ‘Identity Youth Project’ YouTube Channel and Facebook Page. 142 of these videos contain specific Christian content. Across their various platforms, these videos have been viewed over an astonishing 9,400 times.
“They’ve been created to encourage but also to challenge young people in their faith” Matt said, “This is a huge encouragement to us all that we really can make a positive difference through the online medium regardless of the size of our churches or ministries”.
The team at Identity Youth Project is undertaking “LYN – Love Your Neighbour”, their social action project during the summer holidays, although this year it looks a little different due to the various restrictions. Despite these, they are taking a team of young people to churches in and around Gorleston to help with a variety of gardening and outside maintenance jobs.  Matt said “The young people are excited to get active, learn new skills and bless their community in the process”.
Matt concluded “It’s been a challenge to utilise this difficult season in various ways, but we have been committed to doing exactly that and have been amazed at the outcome. We’re looking forward with excitement to the future and will be incorporating some online aspects into our programme next season”
For more information, visit the Identity website.

This story is based on an article that appeared on Network Yarmouth.


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