helping “Tell Your Story”

Posted by jude on 30 September, 2011 under Consultancy

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Jude’s background in Public Sector Management and Leadership Development, combined with her creative, innovative and highly accessible approach to communication, make her an ideal person to help get your messages across in an effective and exciting way…

Jude has worked with charities to help them tell their stories – whether through publishing a book, researching a report or communicating directly with their staff. This has included the book “Just Walk With Me,” published in 2008 with youthwork charity e:merge, and commissioned poems for Fairbridge, another charity working with disaffected young people.

She is also experienced in assessment, recruitment and designing/delivering leadership development programmes. She has worked with the Home Office, Cabinet Office and leading disability charity RADAR in this capacity.

Telling your story…

It was 3am. A young girl was hammering at our front door. ‘You have to pray for me!’ The father of her baby had just been stabbed by his best friend over some money. Because he was a drug user, the medical staff at the hospital couldn?t stop him bleeding. So he died on the operating table. Nineteen years old.

“Just Walk With Me,” published in March 2008, tracks a year in the life of Christian youth project e:merge in Bradford, starting with the arrival of Niki fresh-faced, full of spiritual optimism and an expert in running perky school assemblies. Yan, the project’s Director knows that working here will force Niki to abandon or reform nearly all her attitudes to evangelism and quick-fix faith. But he also knows that God’s grace can change even the most excluded young person.

I wrote this book on the basis of interviews with the staff and young people at the youth project “e:merge” in Bradford, helping them tell the story of their project in their own words. It was an amazing challenge and privilege to get in amongst the people and community there and try to get my head round the work they are doing to give young people the best chances to thrive and grow.

As well as being a dynamic resource for youth workers, this book will appeal to all Christians willing to challenge themselves about the realities of poverty, deprivation and God’s saving grace.

The main point of writing the book was always to challenge the normal expectations of church, young people and God – and to challenge people’s mindset in terms of how to work with needy young people and communities experiencing deprivation. I hope the result is an easy read but one which stirs the mind, asks lots of questions, and provokes thought. The feedback and reviews we’ve had so far suggest that the book is achieving its aim.

I have delivered talks and seminars about the book and the issues it raises to churches, small groups, both men’s and women’s networking events, the Greenbelt festival and youthwork events. This has often been in conjunction with staff and/or young people involved with the e:merge project, which has leant a real authenticity, punch and sometimes some surprises to the events!

The events have been of great encouragement to youthworkers or those in similar fields, and have also challenged others to support youthwork, or simply to think about their faith in a different way. If you are interested in us coming to talk to your group or at your event, contact me!

Quotes and Reviews

‘A bitingly honest, extremely engaging and at times laugh out loud funny account of no holds barred youth work.’ Rachel Gardner, youth worker and presenter of BBC2′s Romance Academy

‘It pulls no punches I commend it to all who seek to engage with unchurched young people today’ – The Rt Revd David James, Bishop of Bradford

‘gut-wrenchingly excellent’ Andy Flannagan, worship leader and campaigner

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