The Courtyard Project equips Catholic parishes to reach out and meet vulnerable young people in their own context, and welcome them as part of the parish ‘courtyard’. The parish use their rich resources - people, buildings, experience and faith - to accompany young people to discover their gifts and to gain a deeper sense of purpose.
Courtyard was official launched on 24 January 2018 - please see the project website at www.courtyardproject.org.uk
Courtyard will support each parish recruit and train a group of parishioners (including young people), to be the hosts to the project. We know that parishes will be astonished to discover how effectively they can inspire volunteers, and utilise the incredible potential they have within their community to transform lives.
Watch our taster video and explore the vision behind Courtyard:
Following two years of reflection and planning, Million Minutes implemented the pilot phase of Courtyard at the beginning of 2015. With initial support from Catholic charities and individuals, the vision of Courtyard was developed within the communities of the three pilot parishes in North London, Farnworth (near Bolton) and Newcastle. Three part time youth workers were recruited, who then worked to implement a model of volunteer engagement and development, leading to youth outreach. The volunteers accompany and enable these young people to develop their own response to the needs in their lives and their area. Having three very different parishes, it is to be expected that the three projects will develop differently, but common elements and learning from each will inform the resources created at the end of the pilot.
What will Courtyard do?
- Parishes will be equipped to engage with young people in the community
- Young people will have opportunities to learn, to participate in the community and to plan for their future
- Local projects developed to respond to local need (e.g. intergenerational service project)
- Parish workers, priests and volunteers growing in confidence, supported through quality resources and training
- A national resource and training tool available to inspire any parish to reach out and support young people in their local community
- In each parish Courtyard will also raise up key adults and young people who will develop as community leaders.