As our work amongst children and young people continues to grow, we're delighted to have appointed Deb Goodhead to our staff team. Deb will work half time as our Children's and Youth Worker.
Hopefully, you'll soon get the opportunity to meet Deb in person. In the meantime, she introduces herself in this post:
Born and bred in Leicester I attended Groby United Reformed Church and was baptised at the age of 8. For many years I helped as a young leader for the children’s and youth work in our Church, until I went to Hull University to study International Business Management, which included living and studying for a year in Melbourne, Australia. Originally, I had wanted to go into Human Resource Management, but God had other ideas! As I approached my final year at Hull I realised that God was calling me into youth work. So, after graduating, I began another degree course, this time with the Centre for Youth Ministry and Oxford Brookes, where I studied Youth and Community Work with Applied Theology and worked part-time with 2 churches in my village as a youth worker. After qualifying I began working full-time as the Youth & Children’s Worker for ‘Churches Together in Groby’.
God has given me a heart for young people and overseas mission and during my time as the Youth & Children’s Worker in Groby I took a group of young leaders, with volunteers, on a ‘Rebuild Mexico’ mission where we built a house for a young couple. After 8 years leading the work in Groby I felt God calling me elsewhere. So, I left my job with Groby and took 6 months out to go on overseas mission with Tearfund to Tanzania, Africa. Tearfund was partnered with an organisation called ‘GoMAD’ (Go Make a Difference), who also partnered with the Anglican Church in Musoma, in the Mara Region of Tanzania. At the end of the 6 months, I was offered the opportunity to work with GoMAD and the Anglican Church in Tanzania as an In-Country Co-ordinator. I then spent 3 years working with UK teams coming out to Tanzania to get involved in local projects, such as building water tanks and houses, as well as lots of community and schools work, raising health awareness and providing various sports, crafts and educational workshops. I was also involved in setting up a Women’s Health Project to help them gain an income through sewing and educational hygiene work. After 3 and half years serving in Tanzania I felt God leading me back to the UK, but at that stage I wasn’t sure why.
As I tried to discern the next stage in God’s plan for my life, I was given the opportunity to be part of the ‘Oak Hall Year’, a programme with Oak Hall at Otford Manor, where I studied the Bible and served as part of the Oak Hall team. This gave me the chance to work out where God was leading me next and to spend some quality time in His Word. It was then that the opportunity came for me to serve St Mary’s Church, Kemsing as their part-time Youth and Children’s worker and to continue part-time with Oak Hall as well and I knew that this was where God wanted me to be.
I have a heart to see children & young people develop a relationship with Jesus and come to know God deeper. As well as running regular clubs, I love organising events and residentials and getting alongside people to encourage and support them generally in life, but also in faith. I have a heart for the poor and a passion for justice. My personal interests include netball and drama and I love spending time with family and friends.
I am excited to see where God is leading the work here and look forward to getting to know my Church family better and meeting the community of Kemsing.