Sevenoaks Road 



BR6 9JH 

VYP History

VYP was founded in 1967 as a one-off project for the church to support one or two young people who would like to volunteer to serve the community at home or abroad.  The target was to raise £1,000 (a lot of money in 1967).

Various activities were undertaken to raise this money, including a Ladies Working Party making and selling items, a regular Saturday Morning Coffee Bar and Car Wash, a Babysitting Service, VYP Cookery Book, Old Time Music Hall, Festival of Flowers and the 25 mile May Walk.  These are only a few of the activities undertaken and every organisation in the church was involved in supporting the project.  Eventually the church raised £1,400, which was a magnificent achievement.

The first sponsored volunteer was Sally Overall, who worked at Ilesha Hospital in Nigeria and Dabou Hospital on the Ivory Coast.  This placement was very successful and was followed by several other young people volunteering to work in areas such as Teaching in Ghana, Assistant House Mother for NCH in Portsmouth, Child Care Nurse for MEDAK, Southern India and working on the Agricultural Development Project in Sierra Leone.   It was decided that although it had originally been envisaged as a one-off project the work was too important to stop.  Therefore money continued to be raised via the Annual May Walk and in total a further 20 young people volunteered for either 6 or 12 month projects over the next 25 years.  Small individual grants were also issued throughout this period.

Following this, when it became harder to make placements abroad, several group trips were sponsored including Tanzania and two to the Matthew Rusike Children’s Home in Zimbabwe (where two long term volunteers have also served).  One year VYP also supported a young Romanian, met through the Workcamp, who worked in our circuit as a youth worker.  

In the 1990’s we adopted the distribution system, dividing money raised between local and overseas children's charities as well as VYP.  Between 1991 and 2009 we supported the annual Workcamp working on projects in the UK, Germany and Romania with teams from  these countries.  This proved a very successful enterprise which provided a unique experience for our young people, many of whom attended several workcamps and forged close ties with the young people from Germany and Romania.  Since this work came to a natural end in 2009 we have organised two group events in the UK and South Africa.

 We are very proud of our roll call of volunteers, both those who worked individually and those who participated in group trips.   Over the years they have achieved so much, both personally and for others, and have been wonderful ambassadors around the world for our church and community.

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Page last updated

30 July 2015