Life on The Edge
Stan Hazell reports from a pioneering youth project in Bradford
The organisers of a youth project in Bradford named it The Edge, because that is where the youngsters they work with find themselves on the Holme Wood estate, which is ranked among the most deprived in Britain. “We want to stop young people falling over the edge into a life of drugs, crime and antisocial behaviour,” says senior youth worker, Adam Woodhouse (pictured above). “We aim to work with Christian love and compassion to keep them on the right road.”
The heart of the project is a drop-in centre where young people from the estate can play a game of pool, table tennis or an Xbox game – but it is far more than that. Adam and his team of youth workers and volunteers – young men who live and were brought up on the estate and understand the issues – are on hand to talk about problems and offer advice and support on issues like bullying, drug abuse and family relationships: “We provide a place where they can chill out and feel safe, but also talk about the issues in their lives if they want to,” says Adam.
The project was set up 12 years ago after the then minister at Holme Christian Community recognised that the church was not engaging with young people on the estate and that they needed to get out into the community. The drop-in centre now sees 300 youngsters – mainly boys – coming through its doors, making 1,000 visits a year between them…
This is an extract from the June 2014 edition of Reform.