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Cumbria: Methodist youth president visits developing projects

Methodist Youth President Tamara Wray visited Cumbria this week and caught up with two imaginative projects: Shackles Off and The Light Bus ...

District Youth Officer, Jonny Gios and Kendal Circuit Superintendant Rev Dr Jonathan Pye welcomed Methodist Youth President Tamara Wray to Cumbria this week, on her first trip to the county, and introduced her to some of the developing work among young people in the area.

The Kendal circuit has become of hive of activity with different youth events in recent years, #ignitethelight and Domain. These have seen young people gather across the area to come together for fellowship and teaching.

Tamara also met some of the people behind the exciting ecumencial detached youth work project in Windermere. This is led by South Lakes Youth for Christ, who regularly work with 60 young people every Friday night alongside their double-decker bus, aka The Light Bus.

Tamara also visited the Shackles Off project in Seascale, which works with young people facing a range of issues including rural isolation and alcohol problems. Jonny commented: “I never experienced first hand cross-generational work in action. Young people playing Uno with older members of the local community was inpiring to see and encouraging. Older people can and do make a huge impact working with young people! This project is making a real impact in its community, and well supported by the local church.”

With limited volunteers and limited funds, Shackles Off has a big vision and a big aspirations yet is distinctively Christian in its approach! A great example of effective work in the Cumbria District – find out more at www.shacklesoff.org.uk.

Tamara also met Gavin Rushton, Network Youth Church Leader for Whitehaven Deanery. Carlisle Diocese and Cumbria District are keen to work in partnership to reach young people in the county with the good news of Jesus Christ.

The Network Youth Project is the main iniative led by the Anglican church across the Diocese. Gavin has worked for the Anglican Church in this role for three years and developed many relationships with young people including peer to peer evangelism amongst the church youth – a legacy that will last!

Sandylands Methodist Church youth ministry XLR8 works alongside the local young people of Sandylands estate. Some 30 young people from XLR8 met Tamara Wray this week, and received an insight into the life of a Methodist Youth President!

Tamara also shared about one of her passions: the Street Child World Cup. XLR8 youth are now looking at how they can raise money to support these children. Find out more here.

"I really do love my job! I've had an amazing 24 hours in the Cumbria District,” said Tamara. “Shackles Off is an absolutely amazing project that empowers young people to make a positive contribution to the local community and also encourages intergenerational relationships within the community. It was great to see some of the inspirational youth work happening in the District and because the weather was amazing yesterday this is the way that I will always remember Cumbria!”

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