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About us

John and rachel

John and Rachel Kell have been married for 9 years. They have 2 children, Reuben and Sophia, and a hamster called Knuckles. John is one of the senior leaders at King's Church Little Lever, loves playing football and enjoys talking about James Bond. Rachel enjoys painting, singing and growing flowers for the garden.

Both have over 15 years' experience working with children, teenagers and adults at risk in the education and voluntary sectors. 

John's story

John had volunteered within the Church for numerous years, mainly working with young people. In recent years, he experienced a severe decline in the mental health of the young people he was working with, to the point where 3 young lives tragically ended. As a result of this, coupled with suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from the suicide of his own high-school friend, John’s mental health suffered, leading to a breakdown in 2019. During an intense period of counselling and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), John learned the importance of bringing biblical mindfulness, good practices and close-knit communities together, in order to positively impact each other’s mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing. It is from this that John left full-time employment in January 2020 to form King’s Community.

Rachel is passionate about enabling children and young people to use the creative arts to express their thoughts and emotions in a healthy way. As a self-taught artist and musician, Rachel has benefitted from the therapeutic effect of art and music whilst undergoing counselling herself. More formal training informed Rachel of the additional benefits of using the creative arts alongside traditional therapies in facilitating healing, building confidence, self-awareness and giving children a voice by improving their communication skills.

With this in mind, Rachel left her job in education in December 2022 to join John in working for Kings Community. 

Rachel's story

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what happened then

 

The initial plan in January 2020 was to provide enrichment classes in Primary Schools to teach children how to maintain positive mental wellbeing. This was driven by the belief that proactively teaching children these skills in their formative years provides a solid foundation for their future approach. However, the unprecedented disruption of Covid-19 caused a severe decline in mental health, locally and nationally, thus forcing us to rethink our strategy and approach. We therefore created an online listening service for children as a preventative measure whilst waiting for therapy. This proved very successful, with over 180 hours of listening support being provided during lockdown, and children having grown in self-confidence and self-awareness during this period. An example of this was a child who was suffering from social anxiety, due to the effects of lockdown, grew in confidence to the point that they became a school prefect and was able to support younger children with their well-being.

What's happening now

 

Since the loosening of lockdown restrictions, Kings Community was formally recognised as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) in April 2022. We are now working in-person with children, parents, schools, churches, community groups and mental health services to provide preventions and interventions to ensure the positive mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing of children, teenagers and adults at risk through practically demonstrating God’s love to them.

You can read all about the Listening Ear sessions, the Creative Arts sessions and our work within the community by clicking the 'Projects' link below.

What's happening next

 

We are looking to grow and develop what we are already doing as a response to the needs of the children, teenagers and adults at risk in our community. Here is our plan for the next few years:

We want to increase our Listening Ear sessions to thirty individual one-to-one sessions per week, including in schools located in deprived areas, where mental health is generally lower but there is less resource to combat this issue.

We want to provide the Creative Arts Project to additional schools.

We want to create and distribute ’12:TWO’ – a quick-fire interactive resource for schools that provides proactive, biblically-based cognitive training for children to help them rethink their approach towards issues such as worry, friendships, self-image etc.

We want to build partnerships with High Schools to create safe-spaces such as individual listening services or small group therapy for Year 7 children, to ease the stress of the transition and decrease the amount of anxiety-related absences in schools. 

We want to raise funds to subsidise Christian Counsellors we already have a working relationship with, to take on cases of children and teenagers that need urgent intervention, at an affordable rate. Our hope is that this will reduce the decline in mental health that is experienced whilst being referred and then being placed on a long waiting list.

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