"I have been involved at Ralph Allen in many ways over the years. This past year I have been asked to run a weekly lesson on Thursdays based around drugs, violence, alcohol abuse and other teenage issues for some of the most challenging young people in Year 9 at Ralph Allen. The individuals are currently facing lots of tough issues in the local area with drug abuse (buying, selling and consuming) and an increase of violence that this leads to.
I was approached by the school who felt that I have the expertise to deliver sessions to the young people and help them become more aware of the issues and damage that arise from this lifestyle. We have already seen such a change in the 8 individuals with them looking forward to the lessons each time and even asking for two sessions a week!
I have also been offering mentoring at Ralph Allen for over 4 years and worked with more than 100 young people. This has been a very challenging but fruit-bearing part of my role in which I have seen many students hear the Gospel, do much better in school and see one young person come to know Jesus! The school are very open in letting me share my faith and life experiences with the individuals during the sessions.
On Friday lunchtimes we run a prayer space at the school for all ages and years groups which is well attended. We have one group of lads who began coming along in year 7 and are now in year 11 and still attend weekly, with one young person who has made a commitment to following Jesus! I run this in partnership with byfc, who resource the materials and food for the prayer space. This year we have been able to share the gospel with all the year groups in the school and up to 35 people attending the sessions.
We also work with Ralph Allen to facilitate and support a homework club on Thursdays after school where we share life, the gospel and education. Simon from STACC, who is also a Maths teacher at the school, set up the club with myself to give young people a safe place to complete their homework, where they can get extra help and support on work they may be struggling with. The club also provides space to work for students who may not have the space at home.
We have a really strong Christian presence in the school and in the local area of Fox hill. God is moving in power and we, as a church, need to continue supporting it!"
Message from Stuart McLachlan, Youth Minister & Community Worker (STACC)