Campaign aims to open up jobs to young people without degrees

Open to All logoTwo major children’s charities have launched a campaign urging employers, particularly those in the voluntary sector, to make more job opportunities available to young people without degrees.

The Open To All campaign, started by Children England and the National Children’s Bureau, aims to encourage more inclusive recruitment practices among employers so that candidates’ suitability for a role is judged on their skills and experience rather than whether they have a degree. It has been launched to counter the growing trend in the charity sector of entry-level positions being taken by graduates. Find out more on the Children England website.

Teenagers abandoning Facebook and Twitter for more intimate social media apps

Social media icons

Fascinating to read this article on how teenagers are abandoning Facebook and Twitter for more intimate social media apps – it’s certainly something I’ve been seeing a lot more of over the last few months in our youth work:

When my digital media students are sitting, waiting for class to start, and staring at their phones, they are not checking Facebook. They’re not checking Instagram or Pinterest or Twitter. No, they’re catching up on the news of the day by checking out their friends’ Stories on Snapchat, chatting in Facebook Messenger or checking in with their friends in a group text. If the time drags, they might switch to Instagram to see what the brands they love are posting, or check in with Twitter for a laugh at some celebrity tweets. But, they tell me, most of the time they eschew the public square of social media for more intimate options.

For example, in a study published in August last year, the Pew Research Center reported that 49% of smartphone owners between 18 and 29 use messaging apps like Kik, Whatsapp, or iMessage, and 41% use apps that automatically delete sent messages, like Snapchat. For context, note that according to another Pew study, only 37% of people in that age range use Pinterest, only 22% use LinkedIn, and only 32% use Twitter. Messaging clearly trumps these more publicly accessible forms of social media.

Well worth having a read and reflecting on how you communicate with young people.

Help Chris get to the Lausanne Young Leaders Gathering in Jakarta

As many of you will already know, this summer I will be representing the UK at the Lausanne Younger Leaders’ Gathering in Jakarta.  
YLG 2016
For this trip I need to raise a total of £1,500.  Hannah has contributed £450 through the selling of her Christmas earrings and I’ve already received a couple of other generous donations so I have a further £900 left to raise.
 
Over the next few weeks I have signed up to do two cycling events and I would love it if any of you felt able to sponsor me.  This first event is tomorrow when I will be cycling 42 miles around rural Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Northampton.  Then, on 9th April, I will be cycling 69 miles around the New Forest.  
 
If you would like to sponsor me, then please let me know.  You can either give me the money in person or I can give you the bank details to transfer money across.
 2016-WSS_no-excuses-sportive2016-WSS_new-forest-spring-sportive

Exciting news: Mark Yaconelli appointed Missioner to the Diocese of St Asaph

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Brilliant to hear the news that Mark Yaconelli has been appointed a Missioner in Residence by the Diocese of St. Asaph:

Churches across North and Mid Wales are being invited to work with an internationally renowned author, teacher and community activist as part of a strategy for growth across the Church in Wales.

Mark Yaconelli, based in America, has been appointed as the Diocese of St Asaph’s first ever Missioner in Residence.  He will be living and working in North Wales for six months, focusing on youth work, community engagement and spiritual growth.

The Bishop of St Asaph, the Rt Revd Gregory Cameron said:

“The invitation to Mark to undertake a residency here in North Wales is a bold move to assist us to reconnect the church with its local communities and spiritual roots.

“Mark brings years of experience and innovations in helping communities rebuild relationships and re-engage.  He’s a well-known Christian youth worker, teacher, community innovator and story-teller and we are delighted and excited that he agreed to be our first Missioner in Residence.”

Mark Yaconelli, who is accompanied in Wales by his wife and daughter, will work on three main projects during his six months:

  • Training youth workers and youth ambassadors across the diocese
  • Training teams to run community story-telling events called “The Hearth Project”
  • Training church leaders in spiritual discipline

Mark first came to North Wales in February 2015 at the invitation of the Diocese of St Asaph where he undertook a short series of workshops.  His style and impact so impressed Bishop Gregory that he was invited to return, this time for six months.

Mark said:

“I am so looking forward to working with people and communities across North and Mid Wales.  I loved Wales and its people when I visited last year and I’m excited to be asked to bring my skills and experience with churches and communities from around the world to this beautiful area.”

The funding for this six-month residency has come from the £1 million Transformation Fund set up by the Church in Wales to help congregations better meet the needs of local communities.

 

Storytelling with under-fives…

Storytelling

Children’s work magazine has written a really helpful article on storytelling with under 5s.

 

Some of their top tips include:

  • Keep it short
  • Using all the senses
  • Reflecting on the emotions
  • Involve the audience
  • Use of repetition
  • Sound effects
  • Practise makes perfect
  • Props
  • Starting well

 

Go read the full article to inspire you on story telling with toddlers.

Breast Ironing or Breast Flattening – briefing by Tri.x

Trix briefingHorrendous to hear this morning about Breast Ironing also known as “Breast Flattening”.

This is the process whereby young pubescent girls breasts are ironed, massaged and/or pounded down through the use of hard or heated objects in order for the breasts to disappear or delay the development of the breasts entirely.

The mutilation is a traditional practice from Cameroon designed to make teenage girls look less “womanly” and to deter unwanted male attention, pregnancy and rape. The practice is commonly performed by family members, 58% of the time by the mother.  In many cases the abuser thinks they are doing something good for their daughter, by delaying the effects of puberty so that she can continue her education, rather than getting married.

For more information check out the Tri.x briefing.

Archbishop of Canterbury to lead huge evangelism project

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Christian Today is reporting that the Archbishop of Canterbury is to lead the biggest evangelism project in the UK so far this millennium:

Every cathedral, church and clergyman and woman in the land is being urged to share their faith and win new converts to Christianity.

Cathedrals and churches are being urged to set aside the week before Pentecost as a week of prayer for evangelism.

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, Justin Welby and Dr John Sentamu, are calling cathedrals and other churches to use the week running up to Pentecost Sunday on May 15 to pray for new followers to Christ.

The entire Church is being urged to pray throughout the week for “all Christians to deepen their relationship with Jesus” in order to have “confidence” to share the faith. The aim is for “all to respond to the call of Jesus Christ to follow him.”

The two Archbishops are currently writing to all 11,300 Church of Engand clergy inviting them to “engage” with the project. They are being asked to organise round-the-clock prayer marathons, one-off events and other meetings and gatherings to help towards the evangelisation effort.

Five or six cathedrals will hold “beacon” events with services and events led by both Archbishops and some bishops, evangelical worship leaders such as Matt Redman, Tim Hughes and Martin Smith and in collaboration with 24-7 Prayer.

40 Acts: Do Lent Generously

Lent is usually about ‘giving stuff up’, isn’t it? What if you could add something transformational to the traditional?

40acts is the multi award-winning challenge from Christian charity Stewardship that invites you to do Lent generously.

What if you could give up chocolate and give the money to your favourite charity? What if you could turn the TV off and spend more time helping your neighbour? What if Lent was a preparation for a lifetime of big-heartedness that reflected God’s amazing generosity?

40 Acts encourages you to do one act of generosity each day from February 10th to March 26th 2016. 75,000 people signed up last year to receive the challenges and reflections by email and this year’s sign up is now open. You can also download resources for churches, small groups, families and schools here.

Latest Hampshire Children and Young People’s Plan published

The Hampshire Children and Young People’s Plan (CYPP) 2015 – 2018 has been published online.

Hampshire Children and Young People's Plan

The CYPP is the overarching strategy for the Hampshire Children’s Trust which represents all those working for, and with children, young people and their families. It reflects a shared commitment to improve the lives of children and young people in Hampshire, and to make Hampshire an even better place in which to enjoy a good childhood.

 

Focusing on the following priorities, the CYPP will build on the work that is already taking place across Hampshire:

  • Be healthy
  • Stay safe
  • Enjoy and achieve
  • Make a positive contribution
  • Achieve economic wellbeing

 

In addition to providing more detail on the above priorities, the full Plan contains detailed background, the vision and principles of the Hampshire Children’s Trust  the key achievements resulting from the CYPP 2012 – 2015, Hampshire’s profile,  and sets out the context for the Hampshire CYPP 2015- 2018.

 

Teenage artists wanted for Group Publishing’s Biblica Bible project

Group, a US based, non-denominational Christian publisher, is partnering with Biblica to produce a New Testament Bible for youth. What will make this Bible unique is the editorial and visual elements featured in this Bible will be created by teenagers.

They are looking for teenage artists to do interpretive illustrations for the introductions to the books of the New Testament. Based on samples submitted by young people, they will select four teenagers who will each illustrate up to six of the Bible introductions.

What they are looking for…

  • Teenagers age 16-19 who love to draw very expressive and interpretive art.
  • The interior of the Bible is 2 color (Black plus another color). So the art will need to be one/two color line art.

What’s in it for the student…

  • Each artist will be given credit in the final printed piece.
  • Their art will be used in marketing efforts to promote the new Bible.
  • Students can include their finished work in their own portfolios as commissioned commercial art.
  • Each student will be given a write-up in one of our blogs promoting them, their art, and their school.
  • Each student will get “real world” experience with an art director and publisher.
  • Each student will receive 5 free copies of the Bible after it’s been printed.
  • Selected student artist will receive a contract for up to 6 illustrations and be paid $99 per illustration completed.

The only requirements for this opportunity…

  • The student must be between the age of 16 and 19 years old.
  • Students selected to work on the project will need to complete all illustrations contracted for in 5 weeks. (We will contact artists directly to determine the number of illustrations they believe they can complete in this time frame.)

Submissions begin now.

  • Students need to submit a sample of their art style to Jeff Storm, Art Director at Group Publishing.
  • Attach 1-2 samples as a .jpg file to an email addressed to jstorm@group.com (please limit attachment size to 5 MB).
  • Please make subject line in email- Biblica Bible illustration submission
  • Include your full name, attach the samples to the email, and let us know a little something about the samples you are sending and why you’d like to be considered for this project.
  • Sample submissions must be received no later than Feb 21, 2016.
  • The selected artists will be notified by Feb 26, 2016
  • The selected artists will have five weeks beginning Feb 29, 2016 to complete the illustrations contracted for.
    Biblica Youth Bible release is scheduled for September 2016.

Click here to download a summary to hand out to young people.

 

What is religious education for?

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Nigel Genders, Chief Education Officer for the Church of England has recently blogged on What is religious education for?.  He starts with:

It is tempting to see the primary reasons for good religious education as being combatting extremism and promoting community cohesion. This feeds nicely in to national political and news agendas but by doing this we confuse safeguarding with education, distort the need for a healthy pluralism in society and accept a simplistic narrative that says religion is the cause of most of the world’s problems. The primary purpose of religious education must in fact be to enable young people to make sense of themselves and the world in which they live and from these seeds will grow communities equipped to live well together.

It’s really worth taking a few minutes to read his take on the need for good quality religious education.