Comments from the young people who use the facilities at The Edge project included Darren Tatley, who said: “I probably would have been locked up if it wasn’t for this place. The estate needs stuff like this.” Connor Richardson, another young person who uses the centre, echoed this sentiment, stating: “When I used to hang around with the wrong people on the streets, I used to get in a lot of trouble; when I came here, I met new mates and it just made my life better.”
Maxwell Reay, a Metropolitan Community Church minister who works with Our Tribe, said, one of the three runners up projects, said: “We’re absolutely delighted with the recognition that this award gives to the LGBT community and the support that the URC and the insurance company has given to the group. It’s a big thing for us – it’s really exciting.”
In the promotional film about the work of Our Tribe, General Assembly heard from Jo Clifford, a member of Augustine United Reformed Church and an attendee of Our Tribe, who said: “As a transgender person I’m very used to and very frightened of rejection from mainstream churches.” She added: “The fact that the URC welcomes and promotes and supports so sincerely with such a loving heart, what we’re doing here means a great deal to me. This award is part of that.”
The Revd Joy Adams, a minister with responsibility for The Terminus Initiative, described the awards as a “testament to the hard work of volunteers”.
In the promotional film depicting the work of The Terminus Initiative, Shirley Knibbs, a minister at St Michael Church,Sheffield, said: “The Christian influence that The Terminus brings to this estate spreads far and wide. It’s making a difference to people’s lives. They find it is a place they can come where they can be safe. It’s a place where they will be heard, they’ll be listened to. It’s a catalyst, it’s a centre of the estate.” She later added: “The Terminus is a place where miracles can happen.”
Tim Searle, who accepted the award on behalf of The Avenue Centre, said: “It feels strange for me – I’m a minister for a group of churches that includes venueSt Andrews, so my role in The Avenue Centre is a peripheral one. The previous minister, the Revd Cliff Bembridge, was at the church for 16 years and much of the energy, vision and leadership for where the Avenue Centre is today came as a result of his input. I want to dedicate the award to the staff, to the church members and most of all to the Centre users. It’s a privilege to walk alongside them, to be Christ in their midst, and to help in a small way.”
Videos featuring the 2012 Community Project Award winners have been uploaded to YouTube and can be viewed using the links below: