August 13th, 2010

James No:2 and Stubbers

Hey everyone it’s James here, not the usual James you’re used to hearing from, but the Northern James. I’m 27 from Sheffield and have been married for nearly two years to a crazy young lady from Swansea in South Wales.

I first came into contact with Canaan Project (CP) in summer 2004 when I was a volunteer on a basketball outreach team from Youth For Christ called ‘Fly’. I spent a week working with the then head of CP (Dave), and was instantly impressed with the way that it worked with local young people, and how effective it was!

When I moved down to London in October 2004 I started volunteering for CP at the weekly youth club that used to be held at Limehouse Centre every Friday. Then in January 2005 I started working full time for CP as a Sports Outreach worker. The aim of my job was to reach out to local young people through sport, this was done through a variety of ways, whether it was through detached work on a basketball court or running sports courses, as well as working at the Friday night youth club. I worked full time for CP for 8 months, but unfortunately it didn’t quite work out and the job ended at the end of August the same year. It was a very challenging time, during which I learnt a huge amount about myself, the local young people and about how/why the CP was so effective.

I really believe in the way that the CP works, which is why I have been volunteering on weekly basis to this day.

This leads me to a trip that we (James, Fiona and myself) ran last Saturday, where we took 14 local young people to an activity centre on the outskirts of London.  Stubbers is an activity centre that provides a variety of different activities, some of which are very unique to this centre. We were there for a full day, which allowed us to do four activities; starting with raft building. We then broke into two groups, my group did Jet skiing next, then High Ropes and finished with Mountain Boarding.

The day was, in my opinion, a success! We work with young people, so the day wasn’t without its challenges, including most of them taking an age to get ready for the next activity after getting wet whilst raft building, even though the group Fiona and myself where working with where doing Jet-skiing next (which, last time I checked involves quite a lot of water!) However, it was great to see our young people challenge their fears; whether it was of water, heights or falling down a hill.

It’s always rewarding to see young people take steps to stretch themselves and work towards conquering their fears, especially when they may not have any intention of doing so when they start out.