Information for your Church.

Emerge is a Christian youth work charity which equips and enables Christians anywhere in the UK to support young people who are in their local A&E or hospital wards because of self-harm, a suicide attempt or an emotional crisis. Emerge teams go into A&E in the evenings, being available until 11pm to be there for young people aged 10 – 25.

As caring, trained people who are not part of the statutory system, we are uniquely positioned to draw alongside young people and be a #VoiceOfHope when they need to hear it most.  We never take the place of mental health services, but support young people in the midst of their journey.  We can be a friend, advocate, comfort, tea-drinking companion, shoulder to cry on, card game supplier and, in the face of despair, we are carriers of hope, peace and joy.

Today, we employ a number of staff and run projects that are open each night of the week, providing follow up support during the day, training for parents and professionals and schools work as well as starting new projects.  But we didn’t start like this.  We started with one person with a vision and no money.  Here’s the good news…

… if your church has some people with the vision and a little money, you can do this too.

We have the template, we’ve written the policies, worked out many kinks.  We will deliver the training, help in conversations with the hospital and be with you each step of the way.

This document illustrates how you could begin supporting young people with the resources you already have, and will hopefully inspire you as to how your project could grow if you would like it to.

If you would like to start a project, don’t think about funding and feel defeated.  Don’t think about the responsibility and logistics and feel afraid.  Think about the vision God is giving you, the passion you have for young people who need a voice of hope in the midst of crisis.

Talk to us.  Share the vision.  Pray.  See what God will do.

The two women I saw were lovely. They kept me distracted from the reason I was in A&E and they stayed with me for hours. It was so lovely to talk with them and not sit on my own in the waiting room. Thank you so much.

Jenny, age 15

It starts with what you have…

  • Evening Sessions only
  • 2-5 volunteers, Volunteer Project Lead
  • Team members go into hospital 2 or 3 nights each week singly or in pairs.
  • Project Lead coordinates and supports the team and is the point of contact for the project with the hospital and Emerge Advocacy.
  • Backstop support provided by Project Lead or suitable person from church, i.e. safeguarding officer/youth pastor.
  • Evening Sessions only
  • 6+ volunteers, Volunteer or Paid Project Lead
  • Team members go into hospital 4 – 6 nights each week singly or in pairs.
  • Project Lead coordinates and supports the team and is the point of contact for the project with the hospital and Emerge Advocacy.
  • Backstop support provided by Project Lead or suitable person from church, i.e. safeguarding officer/youth pastor.

…grows into what you’d love it to be

  • Evening Sessions in hospital and daytime follow-up
  • 2+ volunteers, Paid Project Lead
  • Building on the evening sessions, the team begin to offer follow-up support during the day.
  • This would mean:
    • Going back to the ward the next day
    • Offering follow-up for up to 3 months post-discharge
  • Having a paid person becomes necessary for consistency and good oversight of the work.
  • Evening Sessions in hospital, daytime follow-up plus preventative work.
  • 2+ volunteers, Paid Project Lead
  • Building on the crisis-based work to offer:
    • Emerge’s preventative workshops for young people, parents or professionals.
    • Schools work, group work with local church groups or youth clubs.

…inspires and facilitates more projects

  • Well established Project Lead and wider team, including Project Lead and Youth Worker, Prayer Supporters, and Committed Volunteers.
  • Building on your experience and contacts and in partnership with Emerge, you could support other churches to set up a project in their local hospital.

Emerge & The Cinnamon Network

In 2019, Emerge Advocacy won The Cinnamon Network Project Lab competition – a national search for promising, replicable projects; projects already making a real difference in their community with the potential to be replicated by churches nationally.  Emerge are now working with The Cinnamon Network as part of their Project Incubator to enable local churches to take up the challenge of being a #VoiceOfHope to young people in crisis, in whichever hospital in the UK they find themselves.

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