Positively recycled is how Charlotte describes her life since coming into contact with CRE exhibitor Nicodemus.
‘I had an awful childhood, became homeless with a 13-month-old baby and felt beyond lost and alone,’ she recalls. ‘Then I met some people from Nicodemus, received a mentor who became a God-send and over time, just an incredible friend.’
Today, Charlotte is involved in Nicodemus’ youth leadership programme and creates presentations for schools and networking meetings.
‘My hope is to one day work for Nicodemus full time and use my own experiences to help others like me,’ she says. ‘I have been positively recycled and Nicodemus has done incredible things for me. I am excited about my future!”
Homeless and temporarily losing custody of her daughter, Rhiannon also came into contact with Nicodemus.
That was 18 months ago. Growing in confidence, she has started using her own personal experiences to write and deliver a course on domestic violence for other young adults. What’s more, with help from her mentor, she is now working on moving from supported living to her own accommodation. A passionate ambassador for Nicodemus, Rhiannon recently said: ‘I am limitless with this kind of support.’
Founded by Alastair and Debbie Welford, Nicodemus began with the the couple’s passion to rescue, restore and rebuild the most marginalised, overlooked and abandoned young people – empowering and equipping them to become change agents within their communities.
They embarked on a youth leadership and community action programme with the street children and young people of Latin America. There are now 60 young adults being supported through their youth leadership programme in Guatemala.
In 2013, they realised that there were many young adults in the UK with a similar profile to those in Guatemala. They were just ‘more hidden away’.
‘Young people face challenging circumstances growing up in poverty,’ explains Debbie Welford, who with Alastair will lead a seminar at CRE entitled ‘How your church can meet the needs of broken and marginalised people’ (11am, Thu 19 Oct).
‘We identify the need and work in partnership with others to bring solutions and an outcome that leaves a lasting legacy. We aim to equip young people to develop life skills, build up trust, stabilise and gently progress them to take leadership and ownership of their own lives. We love to partner with churches so pop by our stand at Sandown Park. Charlotte will be there and we’d love to meet you!’
• Nicodemus are on stand C14 in the Youth Zone at CRE 2017