We have delivered transformational youth work for 25 years in some of the most difficult and broken wards of Bradford.
Our goal is to reach the most marginalised and enable them to become a part of a community within which they can thrive, develop and reach their potential. Motivated by our Christian faith and values to inspire, empower and build resilience in young people of all faiths or none.
- With young people, team and organisations we are relational, holistic and person-centred.
- We want to grow compassion, creativity and positivity in our activity and in others.
- We have a bias towards the hardest to reach and those in most need.
- It’s not about bums on seats. We want to grow faith and the church in the broadest sense.
- We want all work to be sustainable. We are here for the long haul.
There are many ways to work with young people, but we passionately believe in the journey.
No quick fixes, no false promises, but commitment shown through trusting and honest relationships . Our personal and collective calling, inspired by our Christian faith, is to serve, love and be shaped by those in most need around us.
Where it all began
Our work started 25 years ago in Laisterdyke and East Bowling – two different, but equally challenging communities in South Bradford. Two churches, two sets of youth workers, committed themselves to making a difference by stepping out and engaging with the young people on their streets. With a whole community approach, they set out to provide appropriate alternatives to the crime and temptations young people were involved in and inspire them to transform their lives. The two starting points grew together, our reach has grown and we have initiated and released new work in London and South Yorkshire. Organisational structures and funding have come and gone, but our heart has not changed – we are committed to inspiring change in the lives of young people.
Where we are today
In recent years the continuing pressure on budgets and funding across many sectors and disciplines have left increasingly vulnerable young people with ever few resources to prevent poor health, poor wellbeing, poverty and hopelessness. Young people are often scapegoated. People see their behaviour but are unwilling to recognise their journey. Exploitation, crime and loneliness have become in every community across our city.
Where emerge fits in
Through our highly focused work in BD4, we inspire and support young people to improve their lives by developing resilience, aspirations and communities where they can thrive. To do this, we create a relational underpinning that supports the other interventions a young person might need. We use highly skilled youth workers, delivering specific programmes in partnerships with churches, schools and other to create transformational results.
Where the Church fits in
In a society under so many pressures, the Church has an opportunity to speak up for the vulnerable and stand up to deliver in new ways, as it has at many points in its history. Sadly however, many churches find themselves with shrinking resources of people and money, and without the knowledge or expertise to open the doors and reach out to the complex world of young people. Beyond BD4, we are therefore beginning to share the learning and experience of 25 years in youth work with local churches who are looking to engage with local young people in their community. Our Growing Youth Work scheme will develop the capacity of churches to employ a youth worker to do just that, and will support that youth worker with training and relevant programmes and methods to ensure that each new piece of work is sustainable and transformational.
Where we are going
No young person should be prevented from fulfilling their potential because of circumstances or poverty. We believe that all young people should know they are loved and have the resilience to thrive. We are working hard towards this goal.