I was heading home on the underground a few days ago and was flicking through the Evening Standard, just like thousands of other tired commuters, and a good news story caught my eye.
The short piece entitled ‘No trouble with Young People’ was tucked away towards the bottom of page 15’s Comments Section and was easily overlooked, yet it was a testament to the hard work of countless people who support our young.
New government figures indicate that our youth are becoming more ‘straight-laced’ and statistics covering drink, drugs, smoking and teenage pregnancies are ‘falling through the floor’ with religious background being suggested as one of the positive contributors.
It seems to me that the more we put in the more we get out, and whilst this is hardly revolutionary thinking, our young people do always respond when we give them time, offer support and guidance, and treat them as the maturing generation.
The leaders and creators of tomorrow are amongst us and it’s down to us to encourage their development; we should put training at the top of our priorities.
I see that CAFOD are running a Young Leadership Training Course for sixth formers and by completing the course the attendees will gain a certificate in Leadership; the course covers a range of topic, including project management, communications, decision making and presenting. The evidence of leadership development being through the involvement in social justice projects, precisely the areas where young people thrive. More information can be sourced by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the CAFOD office on 0207 095 5309.
I recently visited High Barnet parish to spend an evening with Fr John McKenna and Mary Boland and their young people who had served as Redcaps at Lourdes. The evening was inspiring and I was there to see the Barnet Redcaps get their certificates as a part of the St Vincent de Paul Volunteering Programme. The SVP programme is wonderful way for our young people to get involved in activities that support their local community and for their efforts to be recognised.
In a similar vein, we are hosting a Music Ministry Training Day at the Centre for Youth Ministry on 12 October as a part of our Young Adults Training Programme; having previously held days covering Public Speaking and Media Management. We will continue to invest in these training days for our young and if anyone has an ideas for future training days then please get in touch.
I’m sure that there are countless other examples throughout the Diocese of parishes and Agencies supporting our young people and our young people working tirelessly to help those around them; the good news isn’t only in the Evening Standard.