Freedom 2 b[e] Youth was originally launched in July 2008 by Rebecca Apted & Lloyd Jones. The first event was drinks at the Burdekin, followed by socialising and some frisbee in Sydney's Hyde Park. About 10 in total turned up for this inaugural event and it was off to a good start. Two more events followed including a Bowling night and a Picnic night.
In late 2008, Freedom 2 b[e] Youth stopped because the (then current) leaders were dealing with some personal things and finding it challenging to balance the pressures of f2b youth and their personal lives.
No events occurred in the first half of 2009, but the amount of young people coming to freedom 2 b[e] continued to grow rapidly and the need for a space for them was much needed. In late September 2009, Freedom 2 b[e] Youth was relaunched and revamped and Alex & I relaunched the organisation again.
It has now been just over one year since Freedom 2 b[e] Youth was relaunched and we have seen amazing growth in numbers, as an organisation and as a community. Attendance at meetings can be anywhere from 20-40 people and it keeps on growing.
Young people lives have literally been saved and the stories from so many continue to inspire and encourage us to move forward and help more people. This year, the stories of Shan and Mick have been key examples to the much needed work of Freedom 2 b[e] Youth. These two young men have found hope, connection and support in the face of severe hardship and adversity. Many other young men and women have similar stories. There are too many to name, but recent stories including the journey's of Scott, Alex, John, Shaylee, Sam, Lyle, Daniel & Craig are wonderful examples of the hope and support people have found in Freedom 2 b[e] Youth.
As the Sydney Youth Coordinator, I am amazed at the great things that God is doing through the organisation and I am excited about the future and what we can accomplish together.
During the next two months of September & October 2010, we will celebrate Freedom 2 b[e] Youth and the amazing work that has been done so far. This a great milestone for 1 year of continuous, strong leadership, great meetings and events, some powerful stories of lives changed, community building, networking and growing as an organisation.
Special thanks to Freedom 2 b[e], the board members, Crave MCC, my co-coordinator Alex, the f2b webmaster Chris, all the helpers and those that have supported us in prayer and in financial support. We couldn't have done this without you!!
Ben Gresham, 2010