Providence House has been closed for the last 10 weeks, with minimal activities taking place inside, but much has been happening.
Our Senior Youth Worker, Esther, has been planning and working all this time behind the closed doors, but her reach has been far and wide. Most creatively on the radio waves. Six Friday nights of youth led music and interview shows on www.riversideradio.com.
If you missed the remix of ‘We’ll meet again’, you missed a treat. So as to not be left out, watch it here:
Online cooking, online FIFA challenges, Zoom youth groups. Socially distanced walks with young people, mentoring and family support have all been part of the package of keeping the youth work going.
Pete and Barry have been busy sprucing up the building inside with fresh paint, and have been spied outside up ladders or pressure hosing the car park or tending to the ‘garden’.
Susan has kept in touch with the children and their families through different media, and has kept up a daily inspirational message https://providence-house.org/category/thought-for-the-day-for-families/.
Children’s art work has been displayed on the club windows and we have been able to distribute reading books to families.
We have kept up Sunday bible groups and our monthly Sunday First meetings by Zoom, and that has been most rewarding as it has brought friends from out of town to support the group. Not everyone of course gets on with all this online stuff, so we are eager to return to the building.
The farm is still farming, of course, but group visits have been stopped. Some wonderful building projects have been completed and more have begun in readiness for re-opening the gates to visitors. Look out for a post on this website soon, or request a newsletter from firstname.lastname@example.org .
Our networking in the local community has been crucial at this time. We have met weekly with BL Alliance and collaborated on several joint projects, including with https://www.youth-battersea.co.uk/
We have played a founding part in establishing BL Alliance Covid-19 Grant Fund, and joined in with local forums including with our local MP.
Every Thursday we have worked alongside one of our partners, Waste not Want not Battersea, and supported Hadas Hagos and her team in frontline work of food distribution. https://www.wastenotwantnot-battersea.org/ . There is a lot going on in our community with some excellent groups.
Daily words for the day from Providence House Director, Robert Musgrave, on topics relevant to the times we are in, can be accessed on https://soundcloud.com/word-for-the-day-42 or by email by request to email@example.com
But… the doors are beginning to open again. First with some small group work with vulnerable young people. Next with the return of the Sunday Bible study. Soon with the first small youth groups opening. Soon with visits to the farm. Stay safe, Keep alert and embrace the future.
These are very thoughtful times for all of us, and hard and imaginative and prayerful thinking will be needed to progress the best ways of working going forward. Certainly, this summer it will not be about numbers, but more about investment of time with groups of people and young people.
Covid-19 has made us wake up to some important challenges in the lives of people, in the lives of our community, and is causing us to examine where our best focus should be, as we not only face restrictions to programme development but also to sourcing essential finance. To play you part in any of this visit https://providence-house.org/become-a-friend/ or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Robert Musgrave MBE