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St John's Project

by Reverend Lesley Crawley in Farnham, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 16th June 2021 we successfully raised £4,580 ( + est. £840.00 Gift Aid ) with 28 supporters in 42 days

To enable St John's Church to be used more fully by the community, create an open access youth drop-in, carer's hub and hireable space

by Reverend Lesley Crawley in Farnham, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

With the extra money we can pay a local youth worker for some of their time to get the project running quickly.

Who are we and what do we want to do?

We are a Church of England Church in Hale, on the Surrey/Hampshire border, between Farnham and Aldershot. We have successfully set up a youth mentoring service with the local secondary school and currently are serving 22 children with this increasing in September. We recognise the need for additional help for young people in the area, especially since Covid, and we want to extend this service so that young people can access a youth provision every day of the week. 

To do this we wish to use St John's church, which is five minutes walk from two large secondary schools, but we need to raise money to reconfigure the interior.

Why is the Youth Drop-in Needed?

1.    There are no after school facilities for young people outside of the school site in the 15 mile radius

2.    St John’s Church is ideally located close by to two large secondary schools (one with a sixth form college attached) with collectively over 2200 students aged 11-18 years.

3.    The town also hosts a third secondary school with 1600 students ages 11-16 years, a sixth form college with 500 students mainly aged 16-18 years and a university campus with a student population which peaks at 2000 locally residing students mainly aged between 18-24. 

Hub Location

1619714683_st_john's.jpgSt John’s Church is a beautiful Victorian Grade II listed building standing prominently on the northern edge of Farnham on the Hale Road linking the town centre to the highly populated villages of North Farnham. (Circa 14-15k residents)

The building is heavily under-utilised and generally sits empty most afternoons during the week. Located within a 5-minute walk from Farnham Heath End Secondary School and a 10-minute walk from All Hallows Secondary School and 6th Form College on the route between the schools and the town centre it could not possibly be more ideally located.

Unique Opportunities

As well as serving as an after school drop in youth hub we also recognise that the facility could potentially be used by other groups such as a carer's hub and groups for children with additional needs.

Covid-19 Pandemic Response

The Need

We are living through some of the most challenging times for our society with the current epidemic affecting our country. There is no doubt that living under the era of lockdown, has forced many vulnerable young people into their homes which aren’t necessarily a safe and positive environment for them. 

In a report released the National Youth Agency on April 29th 2020 they summarised their 3 may concerns as the following:

●    ‘Increased mental health problems’: Over a million young people have self-reported mental health issues. There is a spike in calls to Help Lines, with 84% reporting worse mental health following school closures or being no longer able to access mental health support

●    ‘Missing from education’: With schools only partially open and youth centres closed, as few as 5% of young people are currently engaged in school and have limited or no access to youth work. Even when schools re-open there are 700,000 young people persistently absent or NEET (not in education, employment or training)

●    ‘At risk, at home’: Over a million young people are at risk from any of the so-called ‘toxic trio’ of addiction, mental health, and domestic abuse. Despite this, child protection referrals have plummeted by 50% in some areas

Our Response

Although we originally identified the need for the youth hub prior to the pandemic and consequential lockdowns we now know that the need for such a provision is greater than ever before. We have learned beyond any doubt that the need for more, improved youth mental health and social provision has reached an all-time critical level and the feedback is universal calling for the urgent need for this youth hub provision.

The costs

The main costs are to make the floor good after removing the pews as the aisle is lower than the plinth that the pews sit on. Then appropriate furnishings need to be put in the space to make it warm and welcoming.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£100 or more

0 of 30 claimed

Cream Tea in the grounds of St John's Church

Cream Tea in the grounds of St John's Church

£20 or more

Personalised Thank-you card from the church

A personalised thank-you card from the church

£40 or more

Tour of the churches

A tour of the historic churches in the parish including the recently restored Kitty Milroy Murals that are of national significance

£200 or more

Plaque in the church with details of the donor

A plaque in the church with the donor details.

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