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4 October 2022

Making a splash

Summertime is all about saying yes to the adventures and opportunities which come your way, especially if you are a teenager on the cusp of entering adult life. For 29 young girls, aged 14 -18, the summer of ‘22 was a time to take a step forward and say ‘yes’ with Youth Encounter Summer (YES).

New friends

Girls from DHEF clubs Hillcrest and Hazelwood joined up with a group from the Ashley club in Manchester, along with girls from Southend. A large group came from the Netherlands as well as some from Spain, making this year’s YES a great time to make new friends. Coniston Hall in Manchester was the setting for this international gathering.

“Permanent values in a changing world” is the DHEF motto, and YES shows this in action. Kindness and generosity never go out of fashion. During the YES week girls volunteered in a care home and they also had a chance to volunteer at Citywise in Manchester which serves disadvantaged people in the local community. Both were great hands-on experiences of putting other people first.

Having a go

YES is a time for having a go at lots of different things. Sewing skills are always useful and each girl had to get to grips with using a sewing machine to make herself a bag. There was no giving up on this – every bag had to be completed!

A big plus in life

For many of the girls YES is a unique opportunity to meet people from different parts of Britain and Europe. Learning to get along with people from a different culture is a big plus in life. It is also a source of strength for the girls to spend time with others who share their outlook on life and who want to deepen their love of God. Days spent at YES are centred around the Mass, with options to attend meditations and talks to help the girls get the right focus in their life.

Water sports were one of the highlights of the week, and the girls thoroughly enjoyed the chance to go kayaking and paddle boarding. In more ways than one, YES made a splash in the life of each girl. They will see the values and insights they gained from this action-packed week ripple out across the future.

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