50 Stories: Deeply Involved
"I joined as a trustee to support Time For God’s new initiative, the Jacob Project. It worked with young offenders, to get them involved in volunteering projects and help get them back into society. I had been a chaplain at the Young Offenders Institute and felt there was a need for the project.
I worked mostly with young people who were volunteering from 6 months to a year, doing all kinds of tasks. I saw volunteering as a great way to get young men who had ended up doing custodial sentences back into the community. They had great gifts and talents.
It was probably something that was very much part of my family’s philosophy. Returning something to your community… it was something my parents instilled in me as a child. They were both folk who gave a lot to their community, both spiritually and personally. I think that lifestyle just became part of our lives.
There are lots of different experiences young people could have. If they’re looking for a supported experience and to become more deeply involved in a community, then TfG is a good place to do that.
One of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had with TfG was working with young Americans who came from the Minneapolis area. They were super kids. It was a great alternative to working with kids who were disaffected.
I worked with them three times a year, and they were really engaged and really excited. I still keep in touch with them. They’ve gone on to do great work in their social community. It’s great to see them grow.
A lot of the work that I’ve done in my life has been with disaffected young people, people that feel they’re on the margins.
My time as trustee wasn’t easy, but we helped to give a good, steady future to the organisation as it is now. I got much more than I put into it."
This post is part of '50 Stories,' a year-long series of personal accounts to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Time For God.