Initially I avoided attending encompass as I am really not the outdoors type; I loved the city and everything in it. I only decided to go as I thought it would be a great chance to become closer with my fellow apprentices and to meet people from across the globe. I truly believe God put me on that trip as my view of not only myself but the whole world has changed, seeing people from different cultures with diverse social normalities taught me a lot about my own culture and looking at how I am in my community.

I dreaded the outdoor activities but I found my competitiveness pushed me to race through activities like gorge-scrambling, which is basically walking and climbing through streams and waterfalls (little ones). One day we hiked to the top of a beautiful mountain and as I look at the incredible view of the welsh valley our instructor turns to us after setting up a few ropes and clips and tells us to get ready to abseil down the side of a 40 foot drop, my first thought was ‘get stuffed! No way’ but after I pushed myself I was able to not only conquer my fear but I even went for another go!

During the indoor workshops we all had a chance to share our stories in relation to shaping our identities, I at first struggled to share certain things, but there was such an atmosphere of family, even though we were all from different countries, I never felt a bigger sense of belonging and I felt like sharing all I possibly could!

One of the most inspiring things about the week was seeing almost everyone on the encompass journey come together in my bedroom, all sat in a circle, sharing things about there week/day then we all prayed together, some were just there to observe, but to sit in a room filled with Christians, Muslims, Jews, atheist and those unsure - was honestly the most moving thing I’ve ever experienced and this has really pushed me to share my faith far more because something so simple as a small meeting of five Christians praying together grew so quickly that I can’t imagine what actively sharing everyday might turn into! God bless encompass and every single attendant are in my prayers.

 


Alex Moore, Youth Work Apprentice (19)


Apprentices are young people who are gaining work experience while working on a Level 3 youth work qualification. They spend thirty-five hours a week for up to nine months at Salmon on a paid salary. This gives them access to higher education, which they previously would not have had, or it leads to the start of a career in youth work. The apprentices are very important to Salmon, as we get to invest a lot of time in them, helping them to grow on a personal, political, social and spiritual level. Also, as they are still young themselves, they are often very good at connecting with the young people we work with and a lot of young people look up to them.

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