Resound running for youth

Published on: 05 May 2014

A TEAM of runners is taking part in the Bristol 10K this month to raise money for young people in Mangotsfield and in Africa.

The Resound Running initiative is being led by Matt Doherty, who has taken up the post of full-time youth worker at the church in Blackhorse Lane.

At least five people will run the 10K on May 1. Half the money they raise will be used in support of Matt’s work while the remainder will be sent to the Mutende Children’s Village, which gives orphans and abandoned children the opportunity to be cared for in a loving, family environment.

The village near Chingola grew out of a long-standing relationship between Resound’s predecessor, Bristol Christian Fellowship with churches in Zambia, and other people in Swansea, Frome and Ireland.

Young people from Resound are due to fly out to the village in the summer to help the 30 children who live there in four houses with two house mothers. It is hoped the village, which provides work for widows, will become self supporting in time, but it currently relies on donations.

The runners have been training at Pomphrey Hill and their “running for change” efforts are being supported by friends and church members. You can sponsor them via their page on the Resound website.

Meanwhile, the local youth work is making rapid progress. As well as church activities, Matt and two sessional workers spend three evenings a week on detached youth work, funded by South Gloucestershire Council, aiming at two age groups, under 13s and 13-16 year-olds.

As well as being a keen runner, Matt loves basketball and football and he has enjoyed a number of games with youngsters at the basketball court close to the church. He has also linked up with youngsters at the skateboard park near Sainsbury’s.

“We have been made to feel so welcome,” he said. “I have met lots of great young people who have responded so well. There is a massive sense of setting out on a new venture with them.”

It is not all about sport either. The young people are encouraged to talk about friends, school, drugs, relationships and anything that matters to them.

Matt believes meeting the teenagers and pre-teens “on their own turf” is an important aspect.

“We are thrilled and privileged to be doing this. There is potential for a great project, but it will be shaped by the young people themselves,” he said.

In time, the work might lead to a youth club at Resound but Matt and his team do not push the church agenda.

“We have a great building and lot of resources and this work is showing our commitment to serving the young people of the area,” he said.

For further information about Resound Running, contact Matt on 07982 152869, mattd@resoundbristol.co.uk

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