Dave Wiles of Frontier Youth Trust dropped in on Colchester last night as part of his book launch tour for “Stories from the Edge“. The venue was The Odd One Out, a traditional local pub famed for its real ale, where about a dozen of us packed into the snug at the back for an agreeable evening of beer, banter and stories of life, God and young people.
Dave told part of his own story, and that of a young person he’d worked with – a story of both redemption and sadness. Such, so often, is the reality of youth work. He then go us all telling our own stories to one another.
Also there was Peter Hope who has been instrumental in setting up the inspiring “Out4good” project that helps young offenders return to normal life after release from prison. Out4good has just received funding for 3 years to develop its work and Peter is already on the case setting up a number of social enterprise projects for the guys at O4G.
The evening ended with Dave and a few of us chatting about life and faith with the publican. It’s probably an overworked cliché, but it felt rather like the sort of thing Jesus would do.
Dave’s book is available from FYT, or from Dave if you bump into him on his tour. It’s a brilliant combination of thinking, stories and reflection on the joys and struggles of young people and youth work. Very real, and very inspiring.