Young people lend a hand at newly opened Salvation Army project

published on 21 Apr 2015

Young people from West Yorkshire have given up some of their Easter holiday to help out at The Salvation Army’s latest project in Bradford, The Orchard which opened last month.

The young people worked for four days at our project, as part of a programme, Hope Revolution, run by Missional Generation, an organisation which brings young people and churches together across Leeds and Bradford.

The Orchard, on Leeds Road in Bradford is an innovative project as it aims to bring the community together to work alongside specialised staff to support people experiencing homelessness. Therefore, Salvation Army leaders selected the project as one where Missional Generation could make a big difference as part of a special Easter programme. The young people also volunteered at a Football Academy run by The Salvation Army’s Church in Wibsey as well as two other projects run by local churches and charities.

Julie Schmidt, Service Manager at The Orchard, said: “The Orchard is all about working together as a community alongside professionals, to make a difference and over the last few days it’s been wonderful to see the young people working together with residents here. It’s a great example of how this approach can enrich the lives of young people as well as the residents.”

In recognition of the work carried out by the young people they presented a plaque which includes a quote from John 10:10: “I have come that they may have life and life to the full.”

Ben Jones from Missional Generation said: “Volunteering at projects like The Orchard and the Football Academy at Wibsey is proving to be life changing for the young people taking part. Our twitter and Facebook feeds have been buzzing with positive comments as participants have been sharing their experiences of working and befriending people from all walks of life.

“We see in scripture that Jesus encourages us to Love your Neighbour as you love yourself, and this has started to become a reality for our young people. We would like to thank The Salvation Army for all the support they have shown us.”

The work undertaken by the young people included painting and gardening. The activity was supported by Bradford Community Repaint, a charity which accepts donations of paint from local businesses and the local people before reselling it back to the public, charities and community groups at a reduced price.

Julie, continued: “We’re delighted with the work carried out by Missional Generation and believe the plaque will serve as a reminder of what we aim to achieve here, both for those who give up their time to volunteer and residents. Hope plays an important part in the work of the Salvation Army and as a result the plaque resonates deeply with us as it embodies our ethos that people should hope and can look to us for support.”

The Orchard, which opened its doors on the 23rd March, operates on a referral basis from the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council.

In a first for The Salvation Army, highly experienced specialist staff will work alongside volunteers from the corps congregation and local community to play a part in the running of the centre.

This year we are celebrating 150 years of transforming lives and it is still at the heart of every community today, supporting those in need.