The Bishop of Guildford’s Communities Fund (BGCF) has made a grant of £3,000 to Skillway, a Godalming-based Christian charity which gives training in manual skills to small groups of disadvantaged teenagers. The training provides a skill for life and helps them to find employment, as well as instilling confidence and a sense of purpose.
Instruction is given in skills such as woodwork, metalwork and stone engraving. Many of the students go on to find work in the building and motor trades and specialist areas such as stone masonry and leaded-light work.
Greg Bleach, Skillway’s project leader said:
“We are very grateful for this grant from the Bishop of Guildford’s Communities Fund; it will help us to buy materials and equipment to train up to 40 students over the next 12 months. Youngsters can be unmotivated and disillusioned about their capabilities and it is wonderful to see their self-confidence and aspirations grow as they acquire a skill. And this not only benefits them, but also their families and the local community.”
Skillway is part of the Warehouse Christian Trust, which is supported by a number of churches in the Godalming area. Since it started 20 years ago, Skillway’s volunteers, who are mostly retired, have given the gift of a practical skill to more than 700 disadvantaged young people.
The Bishop of Guildford's Communities Fund exists to reach out to disadvantaged and vulnerable people across the Diocese of Guildford in the name of Christ. Grants and practical support are offered to projects initiated by Church of England churches (and those in active partnership with them), to assist them to fulfil Goal 6 of the diocesan vision, Transforming Church, Transforming Lives:
'Together to increase the range, professionalism and spiritual fruitfulness of our partnerships with the local community, to help create a stronger, fairer and more sustainable society.'