Over the past year, Chappy Nancy has been co-running a lunchtime group called “Regenerate” for students of faith. Jade, who is in Grade 8, is a regular attendee.
Thanks to your support of school chaplaincy, young people like Jade can talk about their beliefs without fear of judgement.
“Being a Christian at a state school means it can be hard to talk about certain things. Regenerate started during COVID and we get together in the lunch break, open the Bible and discuss things from a Christian perspective. It’s a good way to build friendships,” says Jade.
The group has been a support system for Jade, and a safe place when she’s feeling overwhelmed. Jade has always loved school, but when she unexpectedly started having panic attacks over the Easter holidays, everything changed.
“I’ve been struggling with anxiety this year. I was crying all the time, and was even scared to walk into the shops,” says Jade.
“My friends used to call me ‘sunshine’ because I was always happy, but then I got really sad. I remember crying and saying I wanted things to be the way they used to be.”
“At school I can go and see Chappy Nancy and we talk about how I’m feeling. I know I can come and see her anytime.”
Chappy Nancy has appreciated the honesty that Jade has brought to the group, and how she’s encouraged other students.
“Having Jade as part of Regenerate has been really special. People are really encouraged by her story and willingness to share. She has a contagious personality – you just look at her and want to be happy!” says Chappy Nancy.
“I think Jade shows a lot of courage, coming to find me when she’s feeling bad. She knows sometimes I’m going to call Mum, but I’m proud of her for her commitment to keep coming back to school. She is a really genuine person.”
While not every day is sunshine, Jade has found great comfort in the support of her chaplain, and feels she’s in a better place than she was.
“There are days where I feel like my old self again and I feel happy. I’m so grateful for where I am now,” says Jade.
Thank you for giving young people like Jade a safe space to be supported in school when life gets overwhelming.