In September 2018 we launched our fifth programme of support, Next Step. Val will be heading up the Next Step programme and we got the opportunity to find out a bit more about her and the programme itself.
Why did you want to be part of the Oasis team?
My husband, Wayne, and I moved to Manchester in January 2018. Before we came we'd heard of the Oasis Centre and how great it was and thought it was exciting to be close by to such a wonderful project that made such a difference to the community. I thought then that it would be an amazing place to work and would fulfil many of the dreams I've had about an ideal job, but I also noticed that the website said that Oasis employs very few staff. So it remained a dream.
How did you end up getting involved at the centre?
For the first few months after moving our life was chaotic as we settled in to living in a new house, worshipping at a new church and being in a new city.
But after a while I started looking for work and decided that I'd call in to Oasis to see if I could help in any way. I met Victoria who said to come along and get to know the place and she would see if there would be a chance for me to volunteer. So I filled in the volunteer application form and waited... for 3 days! The Centre desperately needed someone who could manage the kitchen on Wednesday's. So, the next day there I was - cooking for 60 very hungry people!!
And then God did an amazing thing! The Management Team told me that a new job was coming up - Next Step Coordinator.
This looked like my ideal job - it combined managing the Oasis shop (something I've done for the last 10 years) with putting together a volunteer programme that involved training and mentoring (something I've also had lots of experience in). So I applied and got the job! Thanks to the Oasis team for welcoming me on board and to God for his amazing provision and timing!
Can you share a highlight of your first few weeks in Oasis?
One?! The love and joy that pervades the place. The loving friendly people. Knowing that God is at work in what we do and through the centre he is changing people's lives. Seeing the love of Jesus in action. Knowing that each person that walks through the door is loved and precious to God.
What are your ambitions for the Next Step Programme?
It's still in its infancy but I want us to develop a programme that enables those who volunteer to be able to grow and develop - in the work that they are doing by learning new skills and making new achievements - and in their personality by becoming more confident and able, and wanting to spread their wings and fly.
How can we pray for you?
Pray that God would fill me with His love and grace.
Pray that I, and my colleagues, would be able to make a difference in peoples lives.
Pray that the Next Step programme would develop in the way that God intends.
Pray that God's will for Oasis would be fulfilled and the He would continue to work through us to affect the people of Gorton and beyond.