Who we are, what we do, and how we are helping young people to thrive during Covid-19

Who we are 

We are the youth group at Plume Avenue Church, Colchester, and we work primarily with those in school years 7 to 13. Year 6s are also welcome to join in the summer term. If you are, or you know a young person who would be interested in joining a welcoming, friendly and thriving group of young people, then read on to find out what we’re about. Then feel free to contact uswith any questions.

Our Purpose

To help young people grow in their faith, gifting, relationships and emotional well-being, transforming communities socially, culturally, and spiritually for him.

Our Values

We encourage our youth group to value friendship, community, worship, evangelism and discipleship. We believe that God has big plans for all of us, and we aim to fulfil our mission by loving God, each other and those outside, living out our lives for God in our communities. We do this through providing opportunities for young people, and encouraging them to learn about God, worship and grow in their faith, socialise, serve in their communities and live lives empowered by the Holy Spirit, whilst of course, having lots of fun! We believe that faith can be an adventure and was never meant to be boring

Our Work During Covid-19

I have been the youth worker at Plume Avenue Church for 5 years now, and it’s safe to say that I have never known a time where having this community for young people, has been more important. 

As schools have been closed, social contact has been restricted, and in many cases has become non-existent, we have been there to keep them connect with others. As the world we live in has changed dramatically overnight, we have been there to help them thrive in the new reality.

As church buildings have closed, and they have sought answers to questions, purpose and meaning for their lives and the world around them, we have helped them to deepen their relationship with God. In many cases to deeper levels than ever before. For those who aren’t Christians, we have been welcoming and inclusive.

And as the emotional toll on the young people has progressed, we have been there to help build their emotional resilience and wellbeing.

How are we doing this?

In normal times, our groups would have all been physical, and supplemented by regular trips and events, such as Thorpe Park, sleepovers, BBQs and summer camps, and the hope is that these things will return. In the meantime, these are the things currently on offer:

One-to-one mentoring. Many of the young people have taken up this option, receiving regular phone calls from an assigned mentor – all of whom are DBS’d, trained in safeguarding, and are experienced, with a passion for young people.

Zoom groups. The weekly groups for GCSE and A-level are a mixture of social time, games, Bible study and discipleship. There is also a weekly social group for Key Stage 3. These groups are on top of our Sunday morning youth group.

Social Media

We want to help young people grow throughout the week. We also recognise that not all young people are comfortable with Zoom. Each week on our social media platforms, we post regular prayer challenges, ideas for activities, and videos to help them grow in their faith throughout their week – and whether they are into zooming or not.

Physically meeting

In line with current guidance, some of our groups are now meeting physically. Our older youth Bible study group (year 10 and above) meets weekly in the church, as will our Rock Painting Club.

This is just a snapshot of who we are and what we do. If you would like to get involved or find out more info, please do not hesitate to contact us. If you are still not sure then you may want to check out our Instagram page to see more of what we do.

Joe Robbins (Senior Youth and Young Adults Worker, Plume Avenue Church)

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