Sorted is a Fresh Expressions church pioneering work across three of Bradford’s most disadvantaged housing estates, providing opportunities for young people to turn away from harmful lifestyles and find a new vision for their lives and an opportunity to explore faith.
Embedded in the community, meeting in schools, church halls and community centres, and facilitated by skilled detached youth workers. Sorted was born, and still engages young people in, some of the poorest and toughest estates of Bradford. The work began in 2003 with Church Army youth workers reaching young people through skateboarding – a remarkable story featured in a BBC West Yorkshire story in 2011.
Over the years, Sorted has grown from these beginnings to become a life-changing, community-changing force for good, helping young people discover their true value, find fulfilment in the Christian faith and lead community transformation. Amazingly, with few resources, and working in tough environments, the Sorted community now numbers around 160 young people, working within two local high schools and three communities.
What was needed
Currently Sorted operates in Ravenscliffe, Thorpe Edge and Swain House Estates, ranked amongst the most deprived communities in the UK, where young people face huge challenges. Young people experience a poverty of identity, relationships and opportunity. Sorted’s weekly programme is based upon three congregations – Sorted Plus, Sorted 2 and 3.
However, due to re-structuring within the Church Army and other financial constraints and disappointments, Sorted was forced to reduce the size of its youth work team. Alternative funding needed to be sought quickly so that the team capacity could be restored and the support and delivery to young people affected as little as possible.
What we achieved
Futurekraft were successful in securing a grant allowing Sorted to employ a new youth worker for three years. As a result, within six months, capacity has been restored and the work maintained. Extra funding for IT equipment, residentials and trips has also facilitated important additions to the programme.
In the middle of the extended period of austerity, finding ourselves facing substantial financial cuts, Sorted decided to look for help and support from an independent fund raising team. Futurekraft understood our situation, worked within our financial budgets, and raised core costs which are restricted to pay for the incredible work that Futurekraft do. So far, Futurekraft has helped raise over £200,000 over the last four years. Futurekraft take all the hard work out of fund raising, work in partnership with projects like ourselves and have a huge database of trusts. Without Futurekraft, we would struggle to finance two employees, vital equipment and our annual residential. They are the real deal.
– Tracey and Andy Milne, Sorted leaders
Sorted has begun to share its incarnational model of youth work in other areas of the nation and is hoping to see more fresh expressions develop.