24-7 Youth Work places church-based youth workers in high schools across New Zealand, an initiative begun in Christchurch 16 years ago.
With a presence in almost every Christchurch high school, 24-7 believes in local churches supporting their youth workers to effective change in local schools.
Speaking with national coordinator Jay Geldard it’s clear that a deeply relational model operates within 24-7, where the focus is on pairing equipped churches with one of the many schools asking for youth workers that 24-7 is in contact with.
‘We have more schools asking for youth workers than we can find’, notes Jay. Churches are assessed for their capacity to invest into the successful programme, now in 60 schools nationally.
24-7 targets youth aged between 10 and 18 years old, effectively operating across the intermediate and high school audience. Championing the relationship between local schools and local churches, youth workers are typically known by their school engagement, rather than solely by their church affiliation.
‘The schools want a youth worker that cares about the kids – they’re not interested in which denomination youth workers belong to – they’re seeing the model work, and at a localised level these churches give of themselves to the schools where their workers are based, developing relationships through their own youth’.
This year 24-7 is growing and expects close to 150 youth workers to be in schools nationally, one third of those in Christchurch.
24-7 by the numbers
In the 2013 year 24-7 youth workers participated in:
- 125,000 interactions with young people in Christchurch
- 20,000 one-on-one conversations with young people in Christchurch
- 40,000 one-on-one conversations with young people across New Zealand
If you’d like to get involved, contact Jay at firstname.lastname@example.org