Trinity Cheltenham gets set to launch Spear to support unemployed young people

Published: Monday October 17, 2022

Young people meetingTrinity Cheltenham is looking forward to welcoming two new staff members to run its new Spear programme, aimed at helping young people realise their potential and find employment, thanks to a £35,000 grant (over 3 years) from the Diocese of Gloucester’s LIFE Development Fund.

The Spear Programme helps young people realise their potential by coaching them with the mindset and skills they need to both get into work and thrive once they’re there.

The Cheltenham Spear Express programme, a condensed version of the classic iteration of the Spear Programme, will be run by Trinity Cheltenham together with St Paul’s Church, Cheltenham, in partnership with Resurgo. Overseen by the Revd Tim Grew as part of Trinity’s Transform ministries, it will be hosted in Trinity House located alongside Trinity Church.

Tim Grew, Team Vicar at Trinity Cheltenham, said: “We’re really excited about the transformational impact Spear Cheltenham will have on young adults in our town. A great deal of hard work is happening to turn this vision into reality. With staff and volunteers being recruited, local connections being made and facilities being prepared prior to launch-day, there is a wonderful sense of anticipation around the Spear Cheltenham initiative, as we look to support this section of our community.”

In addition to the LIFE Development Fund grant, Trinity has also obtained identical funding from Sylvanus Lysons, a local grant-making charity which works to support the mission and ministry of the Church of England in the Diocese of Gloucester. This funding is being used as a contribution towards the cost of employing the two part-time members of Spear staff as well as a contribution towards the costs of Resurgo, who provide the programme content and expertise.

Young people in need of support will access Spear by being referred into the programme through various local connections through organisations such as JobCentre Plus, probation and youth offending services, mental health support agencies, housing associations and hostels, and schools and colleges.

Both staff members were recruited from the Trinity worshipping community, having responded to the promotion of the programme at the church. The newly appointed Centre Manager, Chris Wagstaff, is leaving his role as job coach at the National Star at the end of the month to join Spear. While the new Assistant Coach will be Jamie Chapman, who is also Manager of the Armoury Gym, part of the Fresh Hope charity but located at Trinity. At the end of October, Chris and Jamie will undertake training and prepare to set up the first Spear course to run in January.

Volunteers will be sought during November and December for a number of different roles, including direct involvement in sessions, offering surrounding pastoral support/Christian community (where this is actively sought by attendees), and facilitating connections with local businesses who may have an interest in becoming involved in some way.

Graham Leighton is a project manager working on various special projects in the life of Trinity on a voluntary basis. He says: “Spear is an exciting and proven programme that we believe provides the opportunity to help transform young lives. It will become part of Trinity’s ‘Transform’ ministry, which includes a range of initiatives that seek to help and bless the needy, disadvantaged and vulnerable in our local community.

“Our target is to see 65% of trainees who complete the Spear Programme at Spear Cheltenham not only get into work, education or training, but remain there a year later.”

Resurgo has nearly 20 years of experience delivering the Spear Programme in partnership with local churches. Spear is currently running in 12 locations in the UK: in London, Brighton, Bristol, Bournemouth, Leeds and Preston. Spear is designed for 16–24-year-olds facing barriers to employment, which could include things like low educational attainment or mental health challenges.

The Spear programme has now supported more than 8,000 unemployed young people facing barriers to employment since its inception. The programme is led by experienced coaches, who equip each trainee with the resources, skills and resilient mindset they need to overcome the challenges they face, and secure employment, education or training.

Find out more here: Spear Programme | Resurgo

If you’d like to find out more about volunteering for Spear at Trinity House, please contact Tim in the first instance:

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