Youthwork | Fundraising

Dear members and friends of St Mary’s,

Most of you will know that for the past seven years we have employed Jason Allen to do detached work among young people at risk of social exclusion in our parish and the surrounding neighbourhoods.  Camden is notorious for its gang culture and Primrose Hill is by no means immune.  The young people Jason works with are at severe risk of criminal behaviour and all the misery that it leads to for both victims and perpetrators.  The factor that can turn their lives around, and often does, is one to one mentoring.  A relationship with someone they trust helps them to visualize a different way of life, with a good education leading to a worthwhile job.  Jason’s community youthwork includes mentoring, prison visits, school and estate outreach, football, health and fitness training, music workshops, drop-in sessions and residentials.  See this link for a short film quoting some of the current service users: https://vimeo.com/62568243

Sadly, in the present recession the external funding for such work is vanishing rapidly.  An individual donor who had planned to fund Jason’s work throughout 2013 has had to withdraw because of financial setbacks.  The youthwork committee is actively seeking long-term funding, but at the moment we are in crisis.  If we cannot raise £27,000 by the end of April, Jason’s job will no longer be viable, and that means our community youthwork will cease.  (The goal last week was £30,000 but one member of the congregation has already pledged £3,000.)

Last year, members and friends of St Mary’s responded magnificently when we faced the hurdle of a final £40,000 to restore the organ.  May I ask you once again to rise to a challenge?  I pray that we may actively and generously remember the 28% of children in our parish who live in poverty,* a statistic that shocks and shames us all.  May we pledge ourselves to continue to support the wonderful work that is done in our name to help all young people to flourish in the way that God intends for them.

If you can make a donation towards St Mary’s community youthwork, please contact the parish office: office@smvph.org.uk or use the Just Giving donation page here Donate with JustGiving
You can also post a cheque (payable St Mary’s PCC) to the office at St Mary’s Church, Elsworthy Road, London NW3 3DJ or make an electronic transfer to the parish bank account: St Mary’s PCC, Bank of Scotland sort code 12-11-03, account number 00738648.

With sincere thanks on behalf of the youthwork committee — and wishing you all a blessed Holy Week and happy Easter!

Marjorie

*See the page for St Mary’s Primrose Hill on the Church Urban Fund’s Poverty Look Up Tool at http://www.cuf.org.uk/230329-0