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Support for School Kids

Dave Gilkerson introduces us to Transforming Lives for Good (TLG). TLG is a Christian charity which is partnering with two FIEC churches in Nottingham to bring support, care and education to children who are struggling in the school system.

Support for School Kids primary image

Across Britain, children are struggling in school for all kinds of reasons.

The effects of bullying, bereavement, family breakdown, poverty or being in the care system can have a huge impact on a child. But there is hope, as God has provided the local church.

Beeston Free and Arnold Road Evangelical – two FIEC churches in Nottingham – have partnered with the national Christian charity TLG in different ways this last year.

Beeston Free has become an Early Intervention partner which means a group of volunteers from the church have been trained by TLG as coaches to go into local primary schools to support children who’ve been identified as needing some extra support.

The coaches spend an hour a week with the child for a whole year, offering a listening ear and helping them to overcome personal challenges. There are currently nine coaches from Beeston Free who are there for children who desperately need to know they are loved and valued.

a child with their project

Beeston is one of more than 100 churches now running TLG Early Intervention in their communities and there are so many encouraging stories from across the country of how families have been transformed by the gospel because of a church volunteer who spent time coaching a child and getting to know a family.

The church at Beeston see this as an opportunity to get to know and befriend families who wouldn’t choose to walk into the church building. They’re praying that in the second year of this work, God would start to break through in the relationships they’ve formed.

Education Centres

TLG also helps churches set up and run education centres for students who have reached a crisis point in their education and can’t access a mainstream school. These small schools take up to 12 students at a time and are staffed by Christian teachers.

The aim is to help these young people return to mainstream school and offer them a safe space to grow and develop as young people.

TLG sign

Arnold Road Evangelical Church (AREC) has generously allowed TLG Nottingham to move into the back hall of their church building. The school had previously been run elsewhere in Nottingham and when TLG were looking for a new church partner God provided AREC!

The Pastor of AREC Nathan Pomeroy said:

“We use the church hall nearly every evening, but it wasn’t being used during the day, so when TLG approached us about running the education centre in the hall, it seemed like a great way to honour God by increasing the usefulness of the building he has entrusted to us. All for the glory of God.”

It has been wonderful to see how God has used this partnership to bring change and renewal. The old hall was jointly renovated by funds from the church and TLG as well as volunteers from AREC and Beeston Free Church.

The impact is being felt across the community. The young people at TLG have cooked for the church coffee morning and the school has benefitted from various volunteers from the congregation.

a lesson in progress

Since September the centre at AREC has been led by Matt Priestland who is a member of Beeston Free Church so the links between the two churches continue to strengthen.

Please pray for this work and all those involved both at Beeston and Arnold Road and in churches across the country that partner with TLG. Pray Paul’s prayer of Colossians 4:3-4 that a door will be opened for the message of the gospel and that those involved would proclaim it clearly as relationships develop with the children and their families.

The number of churches partnering with TLG is growing rapidly and it would be great to see more FIEC churches involved. So, if you think TLG could help you reach out to your community through a range of programmes that they offer please do visit the website at tlg.org.uk.

This article first appeared in Together Magazine which is sent out twice a year with information about our work and ministry. Interested? Sign up to receive Together by post.

Dave Gilkerson photo
Dave Gilkerson

Dave is an elder at Beeston Free Church Nottingham and helps lead a smaller congregation sent to reach the Beeston Rylands Community. After teaching in city secondary schools in Nottingham for 15 years he now works for Transforming Lives for Good helping to support and grow the network of schools that operate across the UK in partnership with local churches.