|The North Ayr TheGither Project is an initiative of the North Ayr Parish Grouping within Ayr Presbytery. Most of the work that we do has a focus on the Dalmilling area of Ayr with Ayr St Quivox Church as the grouping felt this was the area and church that could benefit greatest from the project. Primarily the project focuses on bringing the church and local community ‘the gither’.
In the past few years the project has started to grow through a variety of new initiatives and partnerships. We have been fortunate to have a fantastic Primary School minutes away from the church who have been very supportive of all the work we do. By attending assemblies, parent council meetings, parents evenings, meeting regularly with senior management team and attending other key school events we have developed a strong relationship which has been a driving force in the project. The school comes to the church for 3 assemblies per year; our development/family Worker is in school doing one to one work with particular children; we are part of the In school Dalmilling Wellness Group who focus on the mental health and wellbeing of the school community; we are part of a partnership group which consists of local organisations and the school working together to ensure a wide range of provision for children and families in the area.
In February we started the Dalmilling 127 Club which is an after school style club for children in Primary 1 to 7. The idea for the group was developed through consultation with the school and the parents on the parent council. The group consists of a range of activities the children can participate in from sewing and pool to board games and baking. We want to ensure that children have the opportunity to socialise, have fun with their friends and also have the opportunity to try something new and learn new skills they may never have had the opportunity to try before. Sewing has been a particular highlight of the club with some children as young as 6 years old really enjoying the sewing and learning about a talent they never knew they had. Every activity encourages the children to be doing things together, we aim to ensure that children can be learning to work together, even when playing the Xbox we ensure they are never playing in isolation. We are fortune that we have volunteers from the other local churches who help as without them as a very small church we would struggle to have enough support to run the club.
Wild Rhythm is a music group for people with physical or mental disabilities which is run from the church. The group was started by our development/family Worker in partnership with a local Asset Based Community Development Project. The idea for the group came from 2 local men who have physical and mental disabilities and feel there was nothing locally they could participate in. Therefore Wild Rhythm aims to ensure that those who attend can participate at their own level of ability. A local musician comes along to play and sing and we have percussion instruments which participants can use to play along and sing with the musician.
We trialled a Messy Easter this year which was a great success. 50 people from babies right through to grannies came along to enjoy a meal and Easter activities. The evening was really successful in terms of attendance however we were extremely stretched with volunteer help and sadly felt we couldn’t get the opportunity to run Messy Easter as well as we could.
As a church it is a struggle to know how far this project can go due to a very small, ageing congregation. We continue to seek out new ways to engage with our community. There is evidential need that the community want to get involved in the activities we run,however our biggest challenge is knowing if we have the ability to be there for our community as much as they need us due to our limited volunteer capacity.
We hope that the project can continue to grow and we pray God will continue to bless it as we make significant decisions as a struggling church seeking to show Jesus in all that we do.
The North Ayr TheGither Project is an initative of the North Ayr Parish Grouping | Registered Scottish Charity SC045150
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