1994 Cornerstone started with a youth club in Stevenage old town and very soon after youth football with teams playing in a local Christian football league.
Other events in the early days were a dance group, events in Bowes Lyon house and a non alcoholic bar which was taken to Local events like Firm Foundations. Young people served on the bar. The inspiration originally arose because there were so many underage drinkers in Stevenage Old Town and we provided a non-alchoholic bar for up to 25 young people on a Friday night.
Another purpose of the bar was to encourage young people from a range of churches to work in teams. The teams were trained to make non-alchoholic cocktails. The bar also gave them an opportunity to talk to the young people attending.
We also took groups from the bar to camp at the Greenbelt Festival.
The profits were used to fund projects in the twin town of Kadoma in Zimbabwe. From 1997 a relationship was developed with a similar youth organisation in Kadoma called Sungano. Exchange visits have occurred over the years with young people visiting Zimbabwe and in turn, young people from Kadoma visiting Stevenage. Last such visit was to Zimbabwe in 2007.
Various youth projects have happened over the years such as Shed, Jam and Solid and more recently we had a link with a youth group at St Peters in Broadwater.
The schools work took off 15 or so years ago with involvement in many of the local senior schools. This has involved lesson support, lunch time clubs, assemblies, church trails and seasonal events as well as a small team providing support for individual students who may need help with particular subjects.
Back 10 years or so ago there was a detached youth work project in a particular part of the town, where youth leaders engaged with young people in the street as well as running a club with arts and craft activities.
Currently we are focusing on developing the schools work, particularly since appointing a new worker to Cornerstone in 2014.