Natalie Williams
Dads, fitness, employment and more...

One of the thing I love about being part of the Jubilee+ team is that I have the privilege of hearing about all sorts of projects and activities that are springing up across the country to help people. There are literally hundreds of inspiring stories about people in poverty being empowered and communities being enriched by the work of Christians and churches up and down the UK.
For example, Who Let the Dads Out? provides space for dads and their children to have fun together – it’s a simple idea that has turned into a movement: it started in 2003 when men weren’t attending the parent and toddler group at Hoole Baptist Church and mums were mentioning that their partners weren’t engaged in family life and parenting. A small group of men got together and, well aware that relationship breakdown statistics are high in the first three years after having children, they decided to run a Saturday morning session with newspapers and bacon butties. Twenty dads turned up with their children to that first session, and Who Let the Dads Out? was born. It became a national initiative in 2012 and today has more than 150 groups across the country.
Another really interesting franchise is MegaFitness, which is a smaller and more recent initiative that is helping people from toddlers to octogenarians to be healthier through 30-minute fitness classes run by churches. MegaFitness classes are fun, friendly and seek to provide an alternative to some of the competitive, image-driven fitness options out there.
Then there’s Clean Sheet, which equips local churches to help prisoners and ex-offenders find sustainable employment; Housing Justice, which helps churches to take practical steps to tackle homelessness and housing issues in their local area; and School & College Pastors, who are like Street Pastors but instead go into schools to mentor young people and help them both inside school and on their way home.
All of the projects mentioned above will be at our annual national conference next week, along with representatives of Ashburnham Place, Hope into Action, Link Visiting, Living Recovery, Make Lunch, Traidcraft and the Trussell Trust.
If you haven’t yet booked your place, it’s not too late to come along to meet these franchises and find out more about these innovative and exciting projects.

Book here.