What do we want?
We want to continue to make a difference in young people's lives! Please help us to fund our youth worker post so that we can support young people, help them to be more confident and resilient and make a huge difference in their communities. The pandemic has made fund-raising really difficult and we desperately need to secure enough funds to employ a fulltime youth worker in Birmingham. Read on to see what our youth worker will do!
Who are we?
The Feast started in Birmingham in 2009 and since then we have worked with thousands of young people from different faiths, ethnicities and genders. We are a small team, with some amazing volunteers who give up so much time to support young people. In our multi-cultural city we have seen a lot of fear and division and it has been our goal to build bridges and bring young people together to become peacemakers in their communities.
What we do
We do this through Encounters - fun activities, food and conversation. Using our Guidelines for Dialogue we give young people a safe space to talk about their differences and tackle difficult topics so that they have a better understanding of one another's views and beliefs. In doing this, we see young people becoming more confident in their own identity, more resilient and able to make lasting friendships with people who are different to them.
Many of the young people we work with come from some of the most deprived areas of Birmingham. They face racism, intolerance and often fear people who are different to them. In this year of lockdown, where more and more people have been isolated, where young people have missed school our work has never seemed so important. Our youth worker and volunteers have still found ways to bring young people together. Most of our encounters have been online, with volunteers delivering food parcels and resources to young people so that they can connect with others. We have baked online, painted online and even played Taskmaster online. When restrictions allow, we take the young people to the hidden gems in Birmingham - places in the middle of the city which they didn't know existed. Perhaps the best way to let you know the impact of our work is to share the comments we received from one of the parents: It has been really difficult to find a sense of community since the lockdown has stopped the children from engaging in their normal activities. I have been really impressed by how Jill, Rachel, Tina and the other volunteers have worked hard to foster a sense of family amongst the young people engaging in The Feast this summer.
This is even more impressive because there has been a variety of online and in person activities, and the young people have genuinely been chatting and laughing in both settings. Another thing that has impressed me about The Feast this year is the wide range of backgrounds that are reached through their activities. Young people from a variety of classes, faiths and different educational establishments are made to feel special and included. This is difficult to achieve, particularly in Birmingham where there is so much diversity.
We are committed to supporting schools and communities in Birmingham to live well with difference, through our Encounters and schools programmes. We know our work makes such a positive difference to young people. We know we need your support!