An update from our Chair of Trustees Dear supporter,
Greetings. I’m writing to you as the recently appointed Chair of Trustees to update you as to how the ministry has been progressing during lockdown.
Along with the rest of the world, everything shut down at the end of the March but we soon realised that COVID-19 was taking its toll on young people as well as the elderly. We knew we couldn't use our bus due to lack of social distancing but we wanted to provide for young people during this challenging time. We started exploring 'detached’ youth work - walking the streets of the areas where we usually take the bus and connecting with the young people we meet. In Pickering where I lead a weekly team, we have used a marquee based in a public park with the permission of the town council. This latest lockdown doesn’t allow us to use the marquee but we can continue to go out in pairs and connect with young people where they are.
Over the last year, we have sadly been facing mechanical issues with our current vehicle. We would hugely appreciate your prayers as we explore all the different options around this. If these issues cannot be fixed then we will need to look into replacing the bus, which as you can imagine is a huge cost to us both financially and in the time and energy it takes to fit one out. We came near to buying another second hand bus but this sadly fell through just last week. We really need God's guidance as we explore what to do next.
We are also writing to let you know that Rosie, our manager, and Isaac, our youth worker, are both leaving in December. We are obviously sad to see them go but are excited for them as they move on to new things. They both have such a heart for young people and we are very grateful for their time with the project. We pray that they will find work that uses both their passion and their skills learnt over the time with the Bus ministry.
With the loss of the new bus and Rosie and Isaac leaving, we still remain fully committed to our ministry with young people, but have decided in our current Covid circumstances to temporarily close the ministry for a couple of months in the new year in order to review and renew our focus in a hopefully post Covid world. We will re-appoint a youth worker hopefully by Easter 2021. Please pray with us during this time as we:
1) get a second opinion about the road worthiness of our current bus
2) look at buying a new bus and equipping it from scratch
3) recruit a new youth worker
4) fundraise for our work with young people (as you can probably imagine, COVID-19 has taken a financial hit on us as a charity)
5) pray and seek God’s guidance about the future of the project.
We hope very much to be able to re-start the ministry once guidelines about social distancing allows us to.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have further questions.
Rev’d Jackie Cray (Chair of The Bus Stop Trustees)