Edmund Rice England - Presence . Compassion . Liberation

CHRISP is a new project within Just Youth, a well-established Chaplaincy outsourcing service run by qualified Youth Workers and an international team of volunteers, and used by over 30 schools in the North West.

Just Youth

The project is set up in partnership with the Holy Ghost Fathers (Spiritans) and is aimed at working with young people in their leisure time. CHRISP intends to offer a warm welcome, safe environment, friendly atmosphere, and support to disadvantaged young people, particularly young refugees, asylum seekers and NEETs.

We are seeking volunteers to work on the CHRISP project and to live in community with volunteers from all over the world in Lower Kersal, Salford. This area is in the top 3% most deprived in the UK. Local schools and community groups have recognised a significant problem with young people leaving school without progressing to employment or training. Our volunteers form part of a team aiming to combat this challenge by linking with other organisations and creating opportunities for centre-based support. The team is headed by Br Ger O’Connell, experienced in various outreach projects in the most challenging areas of Dublin, and Bernie Lomax, a Youth Worker with over 20 years’ experience of working with young people in Salford.

Structure

The Edmund Rice Network is granted two places annually for volunteers on the CHRISP project. As recent school leavers, these candidates are expected to live in community from late August to July. They receive detailed induction over a two-week period, delivered by both Spiritan and Christian Brother representatives as well as outside agencies such as the Health and Safety Executive and Cafod.

At the commencement of the school term, volunteers have the opportunity to link with the Chaplaincy team, visiting schools and establishing relationships with prospective service users. Thereafter the work involves establishing and running support sessions for young people in the area.

Volunteers have full board and accommodation provided on-site at Just Youth’s refurbished community house by the Spiritans. They also receive a weekly allowance of £40 provided by the Christian Brothers.

Young Refugees and Asylum Seekers (aged 11+)

Target groups:

  • Referrals from Revive (agency offering advice and support to asylum seekers)
  • Referrals from local Community Development Worker
  • Referrals from local housing association (Salix Housing)
  • Referrals from local schools and those already using Just Youth services

Aims:

  • Provide a range of social activities
  • Encourage integration with Youth Group (see below)
  • Support those learning English (ESOL classes)
  • Establish a safe, welcoming environment
  • Facilitate volunteer placements
  • Collaborate with Revive
  • Listen and respond to young people’s needs

Young Unemployed People (aged 16+)

Target groups:

  • Referral from Connexionss
  • Referrals from Just Youth team
  • Local outreach and advertising
  • Schools (working with Y11 pupils)

Aims:

  • Build relationships between individuals
  • Provide motivation, trust and confidence
  • Accompany service users to Connexions and Job Centres
  • Develop service users’ skills
  • Facilitate job searches
  • Advise on CV writing and interview techniques
  • Advertising

Youth Group (aged 11+)

Target groups:

  • Referrals from schools
  • Referrals from Just Youth Teams
  • Local outreach
  • Advertising

Aims:

  • Provide a range of social activities
  • Encourage social integration
  • Relationship building
  • Provide opportunities for project ‘ownership’ by young people
  • Establish a safe environment

Prayer

Prayer of Thanks for Blessed Edmund Rice

O God, we thank you for the life of Edmund Rice.
He opened his heart to Christ present in those oppressed by poverty and injustice.
May we follow his example of faith and generosity.
Grant us the courage and compassion of Edmund as we seek to live lives of love and service.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Amen.