Who'd have thought it... 24 years working for one organisation!
When I started on 19th June 1999 (when some of you weren’t even born!!) I was slightly lost and not sure what I was going to do, God had a plan!
Starting out as a centre assistant, my background had been in youth work, scouting, general maintenance and bar work. Within 6 months of starting, I had proved myself and was promoted from Centre Assistant to Assistant Manager. Six months later, I was asked to run the centre for a summer whilst the Centre Manager was absent for 4 months. This was a testing time, we ran Carroty Wood and oversaw Climping Camp in Littlehampton (2.5hrs away). I was 21 years old, had a small team; one shared Maintenance Manager (with Halls Green), one part time admin and myself, I persuaded my brother to come and help out for the summer, but we pulled the centre through and later that year, was invited by the trustee’s to apply for the Centre Manager role, aged 21yr.
I then spent 18.5yrs amazing years running Carroty Wood and saw some massive highs, and inevitably some lows. Throughout, it has been a delight to see how young people, including our staff team, are impacted and transformed by the work of Rock UK.
It is amazing to see God’s hand at work in so many situations, when at the time, you can wonder where He is! But God is faithful and our trust must be in Him! It is my absolute privilege and honour to have spent the last 3 years of my service at Rock UK leading this great team of people who are passionate about transforming young lives.
The Covid years have been some of the toughest we have faced, but we are on the journey of rebuilding and growing for the future, building on some solid foundations, but looking forward and striving to be the best we can. There are days, of course, where one wonders why we are here, why we are facing these challenges, you’d give anything for a quieter day, for not facing a challenge with a colleague or dealing with another kid who is not listening or being rude. However, personally I am totally passionate to serve God in this place and to give young people the opportunities for a life changing adventure! I absolutely love hearing the stories of staff or young people or indeed other visitors who have been impacted by the outdoors for the first time, or learnt a new skill or been given an opportunity otherwise unavailable to them or have encountered God for the first time or indeed gone deeper than they ever imagined.
Thank you to all of you, I am personally grateful for the support shown to me now and in the past. I am grateful to serve a good God in whom we can put our trust always! I am proud to serve with such a great team who each day, do all they can to give young people an opportunity to be outdoors and to see something of Jesus. Keep on serving with everything you have got for His glory and for the benefit of those we serve!
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” PROVERBS 3:5-6