The story of Rise:61 began with a group of young Christians moving on to the estate in 2009 and living together in a ‘community’ house on Winding Way in partnership with St. Michael’s Church. We dreamt up creative ways to love our neighbours and threw some great parties!
We decided to focus on helping local young people and got to know them by playing football every Tuesday evening at the local sports ‘compound’. After a year a regular group of young people started attending and the local council began to support our efforts by providing hot drinks at the end of sessions and by helping us take the young people on weekends away. We also worked alongside a local single mum who was running a brilliant girls group and needed some extra help.
Realising the need for more activities we launched a youth group on Friday nights which was attended by over 40 young people a week at St. Michael’s Community Centre. Whilst the youth group was in many ways a great success, we were left feeling that we were just scratching the surface. We wanted to spend less time on behaviour management and more time really supporting the young people who attended. Therefore our little team from across the community started dreaming of what was possible and visited projects in Bradford and Oxford to learn more and get inspired.
We came to the realisation that if we really wanted to meet the needs young people were facing we needed to create a sustainable platform that could support young people in the long term. Therefore, we set up a youth charity so we could devote more resources and time to helping the young people in our community. Rise:61 was born in Aug 2014 with a £300 donation in the bank and a passion to see this community thrive.
Rise:61’s name comes from Isaiah 61 which talks about how a generation will rise up from the challenges they face to become pillars of their community who restore, renew and rebuild their communities through the power and love of Jesus.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendour.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.
We believe in championing a generation who will help others succeed in years to come. Our dream is to see Bemerton Heath become a creative hub where young people grow and flourish, a place that is a blessing to the city of Salisbury.
We believe in Bemerton Heath and are proud to call it home.