Twenty-five years ago, I took my first steps into working with children and young people. I did it because I wanted to help young people find wholeness, or to use the Hebrew word, Shalom. I didn’t know that was what I was doing at the time, but after a while I realised that if I wanted to do better for these young people, I would need some training, so I did CYM’s youth work degree.
The course opened my mind and heart to what God wanted for these young people, indeed for all people, and that’s when I learned about Shalom. It’s the word we often translate as peace, but it means much more than that. Another word to describe it might be wellbeing. This is the word we use at Renew Wellbeing, where I work when I’m not working with CYM. My role at Renew is to help people working with children and young people in their churches and communities to set up Renew spaces: Safe places where it’s OK not to be OK.
You could argue that what CYM does is a similar thing – equipping youth workers, children and family workers, community workers to create spaces that are welcoming, inclusive and safe. Places where people can connect with one another, learn different ways to take care of their wellbeing, to take action about challenges in their lives, to pay attention to what is happening in their souls and to share their lives with one another.
This week is Mental Health Awareness week and after this ‘unprecedented’ year we know that more than ever we all need to find those safe places and people who will help us through. It takes people with skill and passion to create those kinds of spaces in our communities and if you are one of those people, CYM’s short courses, BAs and MAs can play a part in equipping you with those skills, shaping and fuelling your passion and calling, to help people find Shalom.
If you want to know more about CYM’s courses you can browse through the rest of the site – www.cym.ac.uk – or contact us to arrange an informal discussion about our offering.
If you want to know more about Renew Wellbeing go to www.renewwellbeing.org.uk
Executive Trustee – CYM
Area Coordinator – Renew Wellbeing
Above: Sarah Fegredo brings her experience in children, youth & family ministry to CYM and her passion for wellbeing by also serving on the Renew Wellbeing team.
The Institute for Children, Youth and Mission (CYM) is poised to equip a new generation of children and youth workers in the wake of the pandemic.