Each year, thousands of teenagers undertake the daunting task of finding a work experience placement. The task has never been easy, least of all for those lacking confidence and contacts, but it has become almost impossible in the current climate of cut-backs. Yet for many, work experience is a formative experience
the first taste of success for a less academic child, or a real sense of self-worth for those lacking confidence.
Trinity now hosts up to six Year 10 students a year, for their work experience placements. Few are from active church-going families, so finding out what church is really like, what words like “sermon” and “notices” mean, and what is and isn’t acceptable, can be quite a steep learning curve! They use their IT skills to prepare the weekly notice sheets, put up displays, help set the church out for special services and work with user groups, young and old. Wherever possible, we try to tailor the experience to their interests and needs. More confident students have spoken to our Evergreens Club about work experience and school life, others have helped to cater for end-of-year parties and joined in the annual clean-up of Mother & Toddler equipment. They have also helped us in the longer-term, putting together leaflets, website pages and a bank of church photos to use through the year. In between all this, we had some interesting philosophical and theological discussions.
This is not an evangelical exercise, but the students do leave with a much clearer understanding of church life and what it is all about. Contrary to all the stereotypes of teenagers and generation gaps, they gladly admit that the highlight of their stay is the welcome given them by our Evergreens & Stroke Clubs. The feeling is mutual. Our (ageing) congregation enjoy the breath of fresh air that their presence brings, and are becoming more attuned to what these students can contribute, in terms of helping get jobs done. />