Care Wise West Sussex County Council
Reigate, Redhill and Merstham’s SparkFish

Reigate, Redhill and Merstham’s SparkFish

Now here is a name to keep you guessing, SparkFish. An inflammable herring? A piscine electrician? Actually, SparkFish is a Christian charity based in Reigate doing fantastic work in local schools.

Often referred to as the happiest days of our lives, our school days can be stressful, confusing, lonely and angst-ridden days. Education is much more than just learning stuff. As if the actual work is not enough, youngsters have to navigate their way through relationships with peers and teachers, family expectations, growing up in an uncertain world, social media, and pressures from within.

It is not easy amidst everything else that clamours for their attention, children’s spiritual well-being can become side-lined and neglected, a holistic approach to their development is essential if they are to reach their potential.

This is where SparkFish comes in – literally, coming into schools, helping pupils as they negotiate life, and discover their place and value in the world beyond the classroom.

The SparkFish team works with youth and children’s workers from churches alongside a team of volunteers equipped with a host of skills to support and encourage. Originally called Encounters,
this work started in 1997 as part of The Crusaders ministry. Over the years it has grown and developed until 2010 SparkFish was launched with the same aim to help the young grow emotionally and spiritually.

SparkFish currently offers programmes in partnership with 22 schools throughout Reigate, Redhill and Merstham using three complementary strands of support:

LEARN: Explaining the Christian faith intelligently, SparkFish encourages young people to make their own informed response. Drawing from the Bible and Christian history, their assemblies support the values of the school, in a community or faith-based setting – whichever is right.

THINK: Helping schools provide space in the curriculum for spiritual development. A room is set aside for several days and the SparkFish team converts it into THINK! – a special spiritual space for students to reflect, wonder, ponder and, if they wish, pray.

HOPE: Supporting young students at times of change and challenge in their lives – through mentoring, courses and workshops. The SparkFish team seeks to walk alongside young people, especially at times when they are more vulnerable in the circumstances and challenges of life.

Creating A Spark…Fish…

For more information about SparkFish and how you can help the charity or how the charity can help a young person, call: 01737 668087, visit: www.sparkfish.org.uk or email: office@sparkfish.org.uk

By Sarah Ballingal

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