Something to Shout About!
Young people gathered together in large numbers can sometimes have a bad name. Not so on the Bank Holiday weekend at the start of May, when 33 of our young people gathered with around 900 others to show God’s love in practical ways across the city of Bristol.
The Noise, a social action project to work in some of the more deprived areas of Bristol, has been running for 17 years. The young people of Christ Church Downend (and their leaders and other families) have been taking part for 7 years. When you turn up on the Saturday morning to one of the centres and collect your blue Noise T shirt, you have no idea what your group will be asked to do. Except that you know it will be dirty, hard work, and a lot of fun because you’re doing it with friends and you believe it will make a difference. In previous years our young people have done painting, litter picking, extreme litter picking (i.e. clearing up fly tipping) and helping to run free fun days.
Nothing quite prepared us for this year’s task, however: many of the group were set to the task of shovelling pig manure out of the pigsties at Lawrence Weston Community Farm and putting it into bags to sell to local gardeners. That takes getting your hands dirty to a new level! (Although gloves were provided.) Did they complain and whinge? Did they refuse to get down and dirty? No, of course not! Led by Gary Smart, youth leader at Christ Church Downend, they worked really hard all day, with only a stop for lunch. They knew that the Community Farm provides a valuable service to the community and needs every penny it can get, and that even the pigs can get too much of a good thing when it comes to muck!
Other teams did litter picking, soil and rock clearance and bramble clearing, all tackled with the same enthusiasm and sense of fun. Many of the team turned up for a second day’s hard work on the Bank Holiday Monday, and were joined by fresh workers as well. They even finished off the weekend by face painting at one of the 11 free Family Fun Days that were run by The Noise around the city.
Young people (and some adults) setting us all an example of how to serve others by giving your time, and doing so with great humour and dedication. Something worth shouting about!