On the banks of the River Tyne, sits the small town of Willington Quay, once home to long forgotten shipyards and heavy industry. Ranking in the lowest 7% on deprivation indices for income, health, education and employment, the area has very real social problems. "The statistics for this region make pretty grim reading" says Stephen Ramshaw, an ex-construction worker turned Church Army Evangelist and Community Minister at St Paul’s Community Partnership.
Describing himself as an ordinary bloke Stephen has a passion for ordinary, everyday people to hear the good news of Jesus, especially those who the church seems to have over looked. "I don’t see these people as being at the margins, I see them as being at the whole centre of life" he says.
St Paul’s Community Partnership is meeting people’s needs and bringing the whole community together. Stephen says: "I want these people to know Jesus and the love of Jesus. We are getting there, we are seeing it."
Their award-winning digital drop in helps people obtain qualifications and apply for jobs, and the new community garden is teaching valuable life-skills. Stephen says: "Some of the people here are fifth generation unemployed. Who is going to encourage these kids to go to university or to better themselves?"
St Paul’s Community Partnership is meeting needs and bringing the whole community together through their:
Digital drop in
Children's and youth work
St Paul’s Partnership is having a tangible impact but there are still so many people yet to be reached. Particularly on Stephen’s heart is the generation of men caught in drug and alcohol addiction, young men who have lost their hope and purpose. "It’s hard to reach them but I will keep trying"
he says "if they won’t come here I’ll go and sit with them on the street."
In Stephen’s words: "I can see the difference Jesus has made in my life and I can see the difference Jesus can make in everyone’s life. Once they’ve got that the whole community can change."
With your help, we can reach this lost generation with the hope and love of Jesus. Can you give today? The whole of your gift will go to our frontline work, making a very real difference to broken lives.
You can give to our appeal online, via BT MyDonate or you can call our fundraising team on 0300 123 2113. Thank you for your generosity. We are so greatful for your partnership.