Action Zones 

Exciting times ahead for Identity 

Mark CrawfordAfter two and a half years heading up the Identity Youth Project as its youth worker Mark Crawford has moved on to concentrate on mentoring work based in his home town of Bury St Edmunds. Identity was set up over four years ago to reach out to young people in the Gorleston area with support from four churches – St Mary Magdalene, Magdalene Way Methodist, St Andrew’s, and Cliff Park Community – working together. In recent months Gorleston Baptist Church has also become involved and provides a base for the weekly Fusion Club
 
Ruth Witheridge was the first youth worker with Mark Crawford taking over in June 2014 when Ruth moved into education work with Norfolk County Council. Identity has also been able to employ a part-time intern over the past year with Suzy Coldman working for 12 months until she resumed her university course. The project is run by a team of trustees representing the churches and chaired by Tony Mallion with Methodist deacon Mark Attwood as his deputy
 
IDYP Logo“It has been such a good experience so far,” said Tony, “both Ruth and then Mark have been able to bring their own gifts, skills and enthusiasm to the work. Mark has a real ministry working particularly in mentoring. This has opened up opportunities with local high schools and working closely with youngsters. We are pleased that he is able to focus even more on his mentoring to which he is feels called and that his home town will give him a good base to pursue this. A number of young people have really benefitted from Identity and Mark’s support; among them James Heyden who is currently involved in a year leading youth ministry at St Michael Le Belfrey in York”
 
Tony added that the trustees are very much continuing the work of Identity into the new year which includes the growing Fusion club on Tuesdays as well as the monthly Encounter meeting for young people held at Magdalen Way Methodist and the monthly prayer breakfast at St Mary Magdalene. Other work and possible partnerships is also being actively explored.  “We will also be considering how we replace Mark in due course” said Tony. “In the meantime we have a good team of trustees and volunteers who will continue developing our work. We are not standing still and believe we have exciting times ahead and can build on all that Mark has achieved”.  Identity has recently been awarded a grant by the charity Dreams and Visions as well as other generous gifts
 
“This also gives a chance to re-focus and time to involve our supporters, churches and volunteers as we look ahead. As part of that process we are inviting anyone with an interest in our work among young people to join us for a couple of hours of discussion and prayer on Saturday January 28th in the Chapter House at St Andrew’s at 10 am” said Tony