The Living Well Trust was a charity based on the Raffles Estate in Carlisle, now presently called Community Reach. The work on the estate started in the early 90’s and soon grew and developed into a charity, reaching the many families on the estate. I started work for the Living Well Trust in 2001 as the Youth and Schools Worker and soon developed a number of programmes. Our Youth Worker at the time pioneered a Youth Bus project to reach the many young people on the estate who desperately need some sort of youth provision. By 2006 we have 22 members of staff and £450,000 annual turn over. I had rejoined the charity after a short spell away working for a local church to assist in the ministry side of the charity. There was no way that I thought I would become a pastor of a church and drive a double decker bus but both of those came along simultaneously.

 

After acceptance into the Nazarene Church for ordination I soon assisted in the work of the Youth Bus – sharing God’s love in word and action. Communicating God’s love because he first loved us. It was a privilege to meet so many young people and for them to open up and talk to us as youth team. The bus was simply a giant fishing net as we went into many communities to draw alongside hurting young people. It wasn’t all plain sailing as in 2008 our Bus was broken into and everything was stolen within it – read about it here. It was heart breaking and the Bus didn’t really get back out onto the streets following the incident. Working on the margins has its negatives, however I enjoyed working with all of the community and drawing alongside just as Jesus would have…