Act 4 in Action update on what we have been up to this half term

Equipping children to make a difference!

Registered Charity Number: 1077838

Words from Sam

Running a programme like ours is not easy. It has been a tremendous learning experience working with our friends in Aylesbury and we are delighted that we now have an ongoing relationship there with a growing number of schools. However, as Beatrice’s volunteer time ended in December and Pauline returned back to Germany we realised that despite the will, some more structural work was needed to ensure a project that is going to be fully sustainable.

One of the key issues that we are facing both in Aylesbury and Potters Bar is where do our volunteers live? We have been so fortunate over the years to have people willing to step up and to house volunteers while they are with us. It is a role that perhaps we have not made enough of, as it really is so crucial to us being able to do the work that we do with children in communities. So as we start efforts to find both homes in Aylesbury and in Potters Bar for new teams next year, I want to say thank you to those who have taken in an Act 4 volunteer and to say to those who might be interested - it truly is a role that can make a difference!

Town Carols Project: "What is Christmas for you?"

In November, we met up with children from the Wayside Jubilee Centre Youth Club in Oakmere. Over several “sessions”, we talked about what Christmas means for us individually, and used these conversations to develop a drama! Since we did not want to give the children a script with ideas that do not reflect their own, we tried our best to include the wishes and thoughts from each of the 6 children – the result was a little story taking place at Santa’s house at the North Pole (which was actually one of the main discussion points! Where does Santa live, the North Pole or Lapland?) Two of the girls played reindeers, Blitzen and Dancer, the other three girls were the diligent Christmas elves giving Santa a hand with wrapping up all the presents. The only boy taking part in the project was, of course, playing Santa.

The plot of our drama was the following... The elves talked about all the work they had to do, but still appreciate how they can help Santa with the Christmas preparations. At the other side of the stage the reindeers had a little argument. One of them wanted to run around and have fun, while the other preferred to save their energy for Christmas. The discussion carried on, and everyone wanted to share what they thought was the most important part of Christmas. Eventually, Santa came onto the stage to remind everyone about the true meaning of Christmas – little Jesus in Bethlehem. At the end of the performance, they sang “Mary’s Boy Child”, and everyone enjoyed the children’s lovely singing!

When we spoke to the children about their experience, we were really touched to find out that the children had prayed for us. They also told us how grateful and happy they felt to be working with us, and to be given the opportunity to perform.

The final performance of our drama was on the 15th December at the Town Carols Service in St Mary’s Church. All ready and dressed up in their costumes, we walked with the children to the church to finally show what we had been working on! Even though everyone was really nervous at the beginning, the work we put into the project definitely paid off, as everyone enjoyed our performance!

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The new assembly - Service

For Anna and I it was a special training week, as both our families were able to visit from Germany and were able to watch one of our rehearsals. It felt strange to talk to them as if they were primary school children. They even joined in with the actions to the Act 4 songs. We had great feedback and everybody agreed that they liked the new assembly.

The theme in this half term is service, which sees us perform the drama to the story of Mary and Martha from the Bible. Although Anna’s character, Mary, would have fitted both our personalities, I enjoy playing the annoyed and stressed Martha, who wants her sister to help her in the kitchen, instead of giving all her attention to Jesus.
In the end Martha understands that cleaning the house might not be as important as listening to Jesus.

The message that we leave with the children is that you sometimes have to decide which one of your jobs is the most important and will really make a difference.

This has also been a good reminder for me, as I always feel I have too many jobs that I am never going to be able to finish. Perhaps it is not always important to complete all your jobs. Sometimes I just need to take time to reflect and consider what I could do to have a positive impact on the World around me.

Noel Chavasse is the hero of this year’s assemblies. He was a doctor during WW1, who prayed to God that he would comfort and restore him so that Noel would be able to continue to serve others.

Praying can help us to feel comforted and restored. Perhaps in the future we should all take some time to reflect, when we are feeling weary.

Finally, I wish that you are able to find your own pathway to dealing with stress and that you find a way to serve those around you.

Busy busy - Act 4 Music Video

Nikki on Maternity Leave

As I am sure most of you are aware by now, I am expecting my first baby in just 2 weeks time!

It is going to be very strange for me to get used to a new routine, and not drive to the Act 4 office every morning! I am going to miss all of the volunteers, staff, trustees and church members who make my job such a pleasure. I have enjoyed every day working for Act 4, have taken on such varied tasks and met some amazing people. I am also going to miss visiting schools for assemblies and our educational programmes R Rights and Moving On Days.

I have had the pleasure to work with some truly inspiring young people in the volunteers, who bring so much to the charity and the lives of children in Hertfordshire and Aylesbury.

I am very much looking forward to the new challenges becoming a Mum will bring, and I will keep you updated with baby news.

Thank you all for your continued support, and I will see you all again when I return to work next year.

School's Christmas Card Challenge

As the time was leading up to Christmas, the topic of our last half term’s assembly was compassion. Compassion – recognising the needs of the people around you. Inspired by this, we used our assemblies to set the children in each school a Christmas Challenge to do at least one good deed over the Christmas break. In order to “document” these deeds by the children, we left a giant Christmas card – with a red candle on it (see photo on the right) – with one of the teachers and asked them to write down the ideas the children had come up with.

As the Christmas break is now over, we have had the chance to return to all of the schools and collect their Christmas cards. The results are more than wonderful!

These are just some of the children's quotes that we read on the cards:

"I will help my mum cook and wash up. And I will always remember you Act 4, thank you for everything you have told me, you have been really helpful. I really appreciate it."

- Ella, Year 3

"I took some of my own pocket money and bought some coffee for a homeless person."

"This advent I helped around the house and made my mum and dad tea and coffee during this busy time."

- George, Year 6

"I will pray for everyone."

Here are a few examples of what the cards look like - just click on each picture to enlarge it:

We are looking for accomodation for our volunteers!

Are you willing to open your home to an Act 4 volunteer and to provide a room for any period of time up to 11 months?

If so, we would really love to hear from you!

By providing a safe and relaxing environment for these independent young people to live, you will not only be supporting the exciting work of Act 4, but will also have the opportunity to build a friendship with talented, hard working and inspirational young people.

To find out more, please contact Sam Smith on 01707 665551 or by email on

"Service" - Assembly at the Potters Bar URC

Sunday, Feb. 14th, 11am

Potters Bar United Reformed Church, Potters Bar, United Kingdom

Potters Bar

"Sacrifice" - Assembly at the Brookmans Park URC

Sunday, March 6th, 10:30am

Brookmans Park United Reformed Church, North Mymms, Brookmans Park, United Kingdom

Messy Church - The Mustard Seed

Tuesday, March 8th, 3:30-5pm

Brookmans Park United Reformed Church, North Mymms, Brookmans Park, United Kingdom

Next month's Messy Church will be about the parable of the Mustard Seed.
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All age service - with Act 4

Sunday, March 13th, 10:30am

Potters Bar Baptist Church, Potters Bar, United Kingdom

Potters Bar

Uniformed Organisations Church Parade - with Act 4

Sunday, March 20th, 11am

King Charles the Martyr Church of England, Potters Bar, United Kingdom

Potters Bar

Regular Givers

We must increase our regular givers; if you can support us in this way, please let us know.

Volunteer Drivers

We need drivers to help transport the team to local schools.

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Equipping children to make a difference!

Registered Charity Number: 1077838