What is eXp?
Established in 2009 by Rev. Paul Beautyman, eXp is a Christian youth project for young people across Cowal. Supported by churches and mainly funded by the Augusta Lamont Bequest, it is open to every young person in Cowal. We have a Christian core to our work, believing the words of Jesus when he said:
“I have come to bring life, life in all its fullness”John 10:10
We do this by providing high-quality youth work that emphasises quality relationships, excellent programmes, and a high commitment to helping every young person who chooses to be involved realise their full potential.
eXp meets young people where they are, out on the streets, in school, in the parks, at clubs and activities. We do not force the gospel but present it in a way which is both engaging and meaningful to young people.
We provide a wide range of opportunities that broaden the horizons of young people encouraging them to be more confident, think for themselves, engage positively with others, learn to be leaders and problem-solvers, be involved positively in their neighbourhoods, and keep moving in a positive direction as they grow and mature.
At the heart of eXp is an invitation:
- For young people and children to make new friends, have great adventures, develop their potential, and eXplore the way of Jesus.
- For parents and carers to share in the growth of their children.
- For churches to help support, plan the work and share in the life of eXp.
- For schools, youth clubs or other agencies to join us with young people and children – our common cause.
We work according to the eXp Circle, seeking to expand hours of contact with young people, provide experiences of God, explore these experiences with the young people, explain the gospel, experiment with the way of Jesus, and express faith in Jesus.
Our Young People
All types of young people are involved with eXp, from S1 to S6. We begin working with them through primary schools and the Primary 7 transitions ‘On the Move’ programme and continue to grow with them. Boys and girls are equally involved but we probably have more girls than boys at the moment.
Here are some of their comments:
“eXp feels like home.”
“At eXp club I talk to people I wouldn’t normally talk to at school and I like the mix.”
“eXp is a safe place for me to come to.”
“I am more confident now because eXp has helped me.”
“I became a Christian through eXp.”
Our Young Leadership Programmes
Steppers are young people who want to help out and learn about what it means to be a young leader. These young people, wearing purple t-shirts, have been involved with eXp for at least two years and have shown an interest in leadership. They move into the opportunity to be a Stepper by showing an interest in helping out and the ability to be a positive influence as they are involved with eXp activities, projects and the wider community. They recognise that being a Stepper places them in a helping role in which they need to demonstrate being a positive role model for their fellow young people. They get a bit of responsibility and learn leadership skills along the way, getting to help others, and still remain fully within the role of a young person.
If you are a young person (S2 or above) who would like to be a stepper, you can have a chat with Susan Whyte to find out more and discover if it’s for you.
Rookies are our young leaders and are central to running eXp. Spotted in their blue hoodies, we currently have 9 Rookies working with us. These are young people who have been involved with eXp for a few years and have shown an interest in leadership. Young people move into the opportunity to be a Rookie by:
- Showing growth in confidence;
- Being a positive influence as they are involved with eXp activities, projects and the wider community;
- Being able to take direction in positive ways to engage with others;
- Being open and respectful towards the “God stuff”;
- Having a desire to problem solve and be helpful.
- Recognising that being a Rookie places them in a leadership role in which they need to demonstrate being a positive role model for their peers.
Being a Rookie is both challenging and encouraging—it is another piece of life’s puzzle that will allow them to realise their true potential!
If you are a young person (S4 or above) who would like to be a rookie, you can have a chat with Susan Whyte to find out more and discover if it’s for you.
DGS Work Experience
Over many years, we have developed a positive working relationship with Dunoon Grammar School. Their work experience programme has provided young people who come to eXp an opportunity to work with us for a week in May. To date, we have had the privilege of having 8 pupils taking advantage of this work experience programme.
If you are a DGS Pupil who is interested in Christian Youth Work (or Youth Work in general), eXp might be a good place to get some work experience. To find out more, speak to your main contact for work experience in DGS and Susan Whyte about arranging some work experience.
Our Volunteer Leaders
To give one’s time and talent for a good cause is a special feeling indeed. Our young people are a great cause and our volunteers invest in their future. The generosity of heart and soul that comes from people who volunteer with eXp is our lifeblood.
“Volunteers are the only people on the face of this earth who reflect this nations compassion, unselfish caring, patience and just plain loving one another.”E. Bombeck
If you are an adult who would like to become a volunteer leader or even help out, please click here for ways you could get involved.
Our Trainee youth workers
Over the last 5 years, we have provided trainee (apprentice) youth worker programmes, aimed at young people just leaving Dunoon Grammar School. These young people are ready to take on more responsibilities which enable them to have a greater impact on the youth in their communities and they have a desire to enhance the work of eXp as they move into adulthood.
To find out more about this and whether youth work is for you, please email Susan Whyte.
Our Support Groups
eXp is supported and guided by two groups behind the scenes:
Council of Reference
The Council of Reference looks after our general directions, core values, staffing and financial commitments. As eXp is an SCIO, a charity, the CoRe also looks after our legal and financial reporting procedures.
In the Council of Reference (including Trustees), there are 5 members in total: Colin Adams (Chairperson), Chris Brett (Treasurer/Secretary), Jim Anderson, Robert Mitchell, and Catherine Montgomery.
If you are interested in finding out what you can give to eXp’s direction and future, please email Susan Whyte.
The Resourcing Group finds the resources to make eXp work—volunteers, equipment, finance, prayers and anything else required!
In the Resourcing Group, there are 6 members in total: Simon Richardson (Facilitator), Duncan Tong, Holly Lyon, Blair McColm, Xavier Graysmark, and Jack McGinnigal.
If you are interested in seeing what resources you can bring to eXp, please email Susan Whyte.
Our Cowal Connections
We are pleased and privileged to have a great group of community organisations, churches, and individuals with whom we connected in our youth work. If your organisation is not on this list and you would like it to be, please email Susan Whyte so we can discuss a way forward together!