The whole CHIPS team went to Greenbelt festival at the end of last month and had the privilege of sharing with the public the fantastic progress that the Brixton project is making. Josh Grear, the London Project Team Leader, was able to give first hand accounts of his work with gang members on the estate and relay the tragedy of what is happening on the ground. He told stories of some of the youths who have lost five of their friends to gang violence in recent years. He also told of families who have sent their children away for the school holidays, due to fear for their safety.
There was a great response from a wide range of people. Some expressed deep compassion for the families living in the area and sadness for youths who are having to experience hardship from such a young age. They were also inspried that CHIPS had moved into the area to live amongst the people and appreciated the biblical and grass roots approach that the charity took.
Paul was asked to run a prayer and worship session at the event. He took this opportunity to connect people with conflicts that were happening both in Brixton and other areas of the world. The attendies sat in silence as Paul played a series of audio clips which included monologues, poetry and real-life recordings from different conflict areas. Through the session Paul guided the group through a journey of compassion, grievance and hope. The aim was create empathy for people experiencing conflict but for the audience to leave with a feeling of empowerment and a desire to create change.
A huge thank you to everyone who volunteered at Greenbelt festival. We couldn't have been there without your support. We really appreciate all your dedication and hard work and hope that you enjoyed the weekend as much as we did