We exist to help young people tell a different story with their lives.
Working, playing and living alongside young people in Bemerton Heath for over 10 years inspired us to set up Rise:61. We saw that a number of key issues are holding young people back in our community, impacting them physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually:
- Lack of opportunity – there is little for young people to do outside of school. The limited options are too difficult to access for many families or do not engage the young people.
- Hopelessness – for many young people life seems aimless and unclear. They feel trapped by their situations and that there is little hope for the future.
- Brokenness – young people are going through some incredibly hard situations – family breakdown, abuse, bereavement – and their support networks are struggling to cope.
- Stigma – Bemerton Heath has a negative stigma attached to it, which impacts young people living here and their confidence.
- Spiritual crisis – young people and, generally, people from working class backgrounds are terribly under-represented in churches in Salisbury and across the UK.
“What’s the point, I’m not going to pass anyway”
“I find it hard to trust as so many people have let me down in the past”
“There is no point improving stuff, as everyone will just wreck it anyway”
“How can I believe in a good God after all the things I’ve been through?”
“Conflict is the only way, it’s all I know”
We tackle these issues in the following ways:
Lack of opportunity – we provide free, locally based after school groups for young people to attend and work with partners to see more start up. We provide training opportunities where young people can leave with qualifications and skills. We work to enhance community facilities. We help young people access start-up funding to help them initiate their own micro-enterprises and community projects.
Hopelessness – we meet young people where they are at through our detached work, building relationships and plugging them into relevant activities. We provide coaching and mentoring to young people that need it. In all our groups, we help young people achieve something they can be proud of increasing their confidence and self-belief.
Brokenness – we mentor young people who need extra support. We provide consistent, safe environments which act as a place of stability, friendship and care in the midst of their trials.
Stigma – we organise celebration evenings to shout about the amazing achievements of young people from Bemerton Heath. We share positive stories to raise aspirations and encourage others about what is possible.
Spiritual crisis – we live and work on the estate to help make Christ visible and accessible to young people. We develop pathways for all young people who are interested to learn to do life with God and be part of a local church family.
Our vision is that Bemerton Heath will be known nationally for its creativity, community spirit and the way its young people are leaders of positive change.
We recognise we cannot do this alone, so working in partnership with other groups is key to our approach and we are proud to have worked with a number of fantastic organisations, including – Foragers Farm, Grace Church, The Sound Emporium, St. Michael’s Church, Bemerton Heath Resident’s Association, Bemerton Methodist Church, The Bridge, Sarum Academy, Quench, Bemerton Heath Interagency Group, SCORE, Wiltshire Council and Salisbury City Council.