Building bridges between churches and local schools

Our RISE schools leadership programme in action in Dublin

“RISE is bridging the gap when I walk around the streets.  Because I’ve spent time in their school over the year I now know some of the young people I see” Shane Maguire

Saint Catherine’s Church is in the heart of one of Dublin’s oldest communities – The Liberties. It’s an area full of contrasts. One of the world’s coolest neighbourhoods (according to TimeOut) and with considerable levels of deprivation and challenge. Our dream in creating RISE was to give teens an experience of seeing change happen, through carrying out a community project, and to equip them with leadership skills in the process. The other aspect of that dream is that RISE could connect local churches with young people in their community.

Over the past year Shane, two youth leaders from the church and a youth worker from local charity Solas Project have been working with James St CBS secondary school, running RISE with Transition Year students.
Shane describes the impact he saw in the young people:

“We’ve seen the young people really coming out of themselves. They are stepping out of their comfort zones and rising up to the challenge”.

RISE has been running in James St CBS since our first pilot in 2013. Initially delivered by Innovista staff, over the years, we invited local youth workers (including Shane) to join us in running the programme. Building on those foundations, Shane has developed strong relationships with staff in the school. The relationships built over years with the staff in the school and with this group of young people continues.  Shane has been invited to run Nua (a course exploring Christianity) with them next year. Saint Catherine’s has also been invited to run prayer spaces in the school for final year pupils.

We want to see more churches plugged into and serving young people in their communities. To find out more about running RISE in your area – contact us.

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