Since it started in 2009 The One Programme has provided the opportunity for young people to make the difference in their local community and in the Methodist Church in general. It was established as part of The Methodist Church Youth Strategy to enable the valuable and unique contribution of young people to the life of the Church.
The scheme is a great opportunity for people aged 16 to 23 to learn and develop as disciples of Jesus. One Programme Participants (OPPs) are placed in a local project to work 15 hours a week on average but with some connexional (national) responsibilities and attending training events. They are paid a living wage.
Taking a gap year is often referred to as ‘taking a year out’, but with this programme the emphasis is laid on ‘taking a year on’ by using the year to make a difference. Nearly 70 young people have taken part, in a variety of projects around the country. Through this programme both churches and individual lives have been changed.
One young person from Wales is currently taking part in the programme. Kat Freeman from Rogerstone is on placement at the Youth Café in Burry Port in the Llanelli and Carmarthen Methodist Circuit. Kat says: ‘Working on The One Programme this year has been totally life changing. The experience and training has been fantastic and it has definitely shaped me for the future.’
You can discover more about the programme by visiting The Methodist Church website www.methodist.org.uk/mission/children-and-youth. You can also download the new booklet ‘Taking a Year On’ of inspirational stories from many young people who have participated in the scheme.