Young people’s impact in RamsbottomTuesday 8th October 2019
At our Engaging Young People in the Parish event, attendees were lucky to hear from a group of inspirational young people from Ramsbottom who are helping people in their local community through their YCW Impact group. Here is their story.
The YCW Impact group at St Joseph’s in Ramsbottom has been running for almost ten years.
Before it was set up, there was no youth group and the many young people who had so much to offer had no vehicle they could use to carry it out.
Over the last few years the ten young people who are part of the group have been busy organising parish events, linking with interfaith projects, supporting the vulnerable at church and raising thousands of pounds for charity. All of these things help them to focus on developing their faith and reflecting on the world around them.
‘Aspire not to have more, but to be more’
One example of this is a project they embarked on after feeling shocked by a statistic they read about homeless young people in England and more specifically in Manchester. They decided to take action.
Early on Sunday morning the young people from the group sat outside church before Mass and waited for the congregation to arrive:
“Some of us sat outside the church and others stood at the altar with some placards with some of the statistics about homelessness in the UK. Many parishioners were quite shocked and some did not know how to react to the children sitting outside, they did not know at this point that it was us.
“We made an appeal after Mass for donations and sponsorship for a sleep rough night that we were going to take part in.
“By the end of mass we had £500 in the collection and more still to come after we took part in the sleep out.
“Everyone at mass was impressed with our presentation and said that we really had made an impact on them.”
In the end, the group were able to send £300 to Centrepoint and £300 to De Paul UK, making a huge difference to local lives.
They’ve also helped 71 children go to school through CAFOD and raised a further £1000 to send to Bury Hospice.
Serving the Local Community
The group not only fundraise but focus on serving their local community and wider parish life.
This week, they held a Mass for the elderly and housebound of the parish: “We set up and prepare refreshments, serve at the mass, and sing but most of all we spend time with our elders and enjoy lengthy chats. We are not sure who does the most talking! We have made some lovely friendships with our elderly parishioners and look forward to our time with them.”
The feedback from those who attended the Mass was just as positive: “I love having a chat with the young people it really cheers me up. I look forward to this mass so much.”
Their next project is to transform the outside area of St Joseph’s church into a vegetable patch, herb garden and prayer garden for the parish to enjoy.
Impact is a programme and project of the Young Christian Workers movement in England and Wales. It is made up of young people aged between 11 and 17 who meet regularly in groups in parishes, schools or local communities.
If you’d like advice or support in starting a youth group in your parish, contact our Diocesan Youth Ministry Co Ordinator, Lorraine Leonard by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0161 817 2250