Welcome to the first Newshub update, linking café projects across Guildford and sharing news for praise and prayer. It’s been great to hear from people, so thank you for your participation. We wanted to focus on two projects this time in particular:
Refresh (Queen Elizabeth Park)
Refresh has been running for over 3.5 years now and we have so much to be thankful for. God has helped us gain favour in the community, and people love Refresh and have so many kind and affirming words for us. We feel that the community is genuinely invested in the cafe and are so supportive of the work we do.
We are just beginning to see some of the fruits in terms of people opening up and sharing their concerns, and our prayer requests would be: for deeper conversations, that we would be able to share our faith, and for hearts to be receptive. We very much need God's wisdom and guidance as He directs us in each step of this ministry. As a church we do feel God is at work in QEP and the people we come across so it's about partnering with Him and being open to what He is already doing.
We'd also appreciate prayers for our staff team: to be a good team, to know God's encouragement and help, to be a loving and patient presence in the café, to work well together, support each other, and be mindful of one another especially when the cafe service can become busy and stressful. Thank you.
Misty Bowers sent such an exciting vision of Matrix’s plans for the coming year that we wanted to include it in full, as many churches may wish to back Matrix in this project to reach out to young people in the city centre.
Social Enterprise and Youth Cafe
A locally based charity, The Matrix Trust (Matrix) have provided a lifeline for vulnerable young people across Guildford Borough for nearly 20 years. In schools, we provide developmental and mentoring support through one-to-one sessions, workshops and social activities. In communities, we partner with young people and community stakeholders to identify needs, and develop and provide safe spaces, positive activities and targeted community-based projects such as Youth Hubs, sports activities and social action opportunities that help meet those needs.
Over the last two years, Matrix has refreshed its vision, streamlined the back-office and pushed forward expanding services ‘with young people and for young people’ to ensure we are serving them in the most effective way. Today we are on a mission to catalyse change for vulnerable and at-risk young people, helping them make the most of their lives by partnering with them to help remove barriers that prevent them from becoming active citizens in their community.
As part of the expansion and deepening of Matrix provision across Guildford, we will develop ‘The Pavilion’ – a Central Hub, housing a Community and Youth Café that will connect vulnerable young people to positive and inspiring role models from their community, empowering and inspiring them to become active citizens in their community.
This Central Hub will enable us to partner with others to provide a space where young people can engage more effectively with their community and connect with Matrix support more easily, giving them the tools and confidence to navigate this complex and challenging world.
In 2020, we’ll transform our currently underused office into a more visible and versatile space so we can engage with the local community for the benefit of vulnerable young people, initiating 3 innovative ventures:
Social Enterprise Community Café
A Social Enterprise Community Café and Activity Room (open daytime only) promoted to the local community. Set in Allen House grounds, this will have a transformational effect on the future sustainability of the charity, creating new income generating streams and providing a vehicle for training NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) young people in business skills through accredited schemes. It will enable us to:
Raise funds for Matrix through a daily café, giving sustainability and growth to our work with young people across the Borough
Provide work for young apprentices, or certified training/qualifications and work experience for young people
Raise funds through hiring space for meetings and training, or children’s birthday parties
Youth Café / Relational Hub
A safe social hub for young people (11-18 year olds) enabling us to more than double the reach, and therefore impact, of our current youth services. Open every day after school, it will be based in the café (once closed to the public) providing young people with a space to make friends, build relational connections with youth workers and cultivate vital social and emotional skills. It will provide:
Free access to a social space with long-term targeted relational support and skills development
Relevant, specialist and approachable support and accessible opportunities
A space for young people to belong, feel at home and visit every day after school
A place where young people can safely meet with community members
Learning and Discovery Space for young people
Innovative developmental opportunities will run in conjunction with the Hub, connecting young people to their community, providing co-produced training opportunities to develop creative, specialist and life skills, whilst increasing social capital.
We are currently raising the last funds needed to transform the building and fund the first year of the team and are looking for churches and businesses to partner with going forward.
We'd love to partner with local churches and their congregations to work together to demonstrate the love of God through creating an excellent and hope-giving space. If you'd like to know more or get involved contact Misty: email@example.com | 01483 574900 / 07512 491171 | www.matrixtrust.com
264 Project in Park Barn
And finally, the sad news from the 264 Project in Park Barn is that the community café project has been suspended and will not currently be going ahead. Anne Mather writes: ‘This is disappointing, but we have given it back to God and if He wants it to happen at a different time then I am sure He will make it happen.’
The good news, however, is that they have a coffee machine to give away (previously donated to them by Refresh café), so would any takers please contact Anne.
Thank you for being part of the Newshub and for your prayers for these projects.
May the Lord continue to bless and inspire your work.