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06 April 2010

Source of hope for Aldershot young people

Source of hope for Aldershot young people

The Source café in Aldershot has become an oasis and a place of comfort for young people caught up in vicious cycle of homelessness and deprivation. The café, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, is a safe space where young people can express themselves, experience dynamic spiritual growth and receive support for different issues including drug and alcohol problems.

 The motto is 'Be, Belong and Become' and says it all, because once the participants are set free from their barriers in life they are then empowered to use the experience they have acquired to help others transform their lives. They contribute in various ways, for instance by caring for the newcomers at the centre.

The motto is 'Be, Belong and Become' and says it all, because once the participants are set free from their addictions they are then empowered to use the experience they have acquired to help others transform their lives. They contribute in various ways, for instance by caring for the newcomers at the centre.

24-year-old E said: "The Source pulled me out of a life of violence, crime, drug and binge-drinking, and now I'm a volunteer trying to help others learn from my mistakes. It's my home; the people are my family."

The projects are designed to promote family and Christian values in a non-judgemental environment. They include: anger management, REAL (Raw Exposed Accepted and Loved), mentoring, discipleship, teen parent mentoring and a football club.
 
Anger management helps the youngsters to be conscious of their emotions and feelings. The idea is for them be able to recognise the steps they need to take to address difficult issues they face.

REAL provides them with a sense of identity, because they are nurtured in a safe spiritual environment and shown the unconditional love of Christ as in John 3:16 (God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes   in him will have everlasting life).

Mentoring, discipleship and teen parent,mentoring offers one-to-one support with a trained mentor who not only listens to their emotional needs and feelings but also helps to achieve goals in their lives, like finding training, jobs or housing.

Amongst the supporters of The Source is CUF (Church Urban Fund), Rushmoor Borough Council, Children in Need and local churches. Natalie Cooper, the café coordinator at the Source said: "It is support from organisations like Church Urban Fund that makes me feel much more positive about the work we're doing, it just felt really positive being able to apply to Christian funders, and knowing that CUF would support our faith aspect."