Laura Newall’s course on self-esteem in girls and boys was hot off the press when she opened for business in February – but this brand-new resource touched a nerve-end with visitors at CRE South West.
Exeter-based Laura (pictured far left), was ‘absolutely bowled over by the large number of connections I made at the exhibition and the encouragement I got from so many people.’
In 2014 she went out to Uganda to teach girls and women how to recognise their abilities and self-worth. A life-changing experience, it inspired her to do something similar in the UK.
‘I had been trained as a primary school teacher and my dissertation was on self-esteem in children, so there was already something to go on,’ she explained. Her course for girls and women went down well so she produced a similar course for boys – ‘I have two sons and a daughter – all now grown-up – and knew the problems both faced.’
The new initiative, though well received by a number of schools, churches and other groups, was halted because of Covid-19.
‘It is a face-to-face course which needs a personal link,’ said Laura. ‘Now we are back to nearly normal, things are beginning to take off. Teenagers’ mental health has taken a nose-dive in the pandemic, so it is more important than ever.’
The Inspire Project aims to empower, encourage and equip people to become everything they were created to be by helping them discover the truth about their value and identity as well as God’s purpose for their lives.
‘It is for any person, regardless of whether they have a Christian faith,’ she said. ‘The courses can be used to encourage and equip those already in the church or as an evangelistic tool to reach out to those who are not.’
The courses are primarily targeted towards young people between the ages of 14-18. However, by adapting or changing certain activities, they can also suit children in primary school and people of any age.
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Photo: Laura Newall (left) at CRE South West