Emily Cobbold, YFC One Manager, joined YFC initially as part of Stance; YFC’s dynamic street dance crew before moving into her current role encouraging, supporting and mentoring YFC gap year volunteers.

Why did you join YFC One?

I knew someone who worked for Youth for Christ and helped run the gap year. For years she would bug me about doing a gap year with YFC when I was old enough. But I didn’t think it was something I would do. Then one day when I was running a holiday club with her, she excitedly told me that YFC were setting up a Street Dance Crew and encouraged me to consider applying because dance has always been a passion of mine. So I auditioned and was accepted.

How were your two years with the dance team?

I know I’m still young, but they’ve been the best years of my life so far. It was amazing to travel across the country sharing the gospel with young people through dance. God taught me so much. Through Stance I realised that my relationship with God was a two-way thing, I’d always expected so much from Him but on my gap year I learnt that you have to give Him everything.

Did it change you?

Massively. I really struggled with confidence when I started. In the first few weeks we practiced introducing ourselves for an assembly and I broke down because I couldn’t even say my name in front of a large group of people. I was so conscious of what others would think of me but Stance helped me to step out of my comfort zone and trust God. Through it, I came to see that my identity was in Him and that it didn’t matter what anyone else thought. By the time I finished, God had given me the opportunity to speak in front of thousands which I would never have dreamt of doing when I started.

How did you become YFC One Manager?

When my second year on YFC One came to an end I knew I wanted to use what I’d learnt, especially about communication. Then the Support worker job came up and people told me that they saw things in me that meant I’d be great at it so I said to God, “If this is right, then open the door” and felt a peace in my heart about it. Then the same happened with the YFC One Manager position. When you’ve been invested in so much by people, you just want to give back. I had the most incredible time on YFC One and emerged from it a completely different person to the one I was when I started, by God’s grace.

What do you find most exciting about the role?

I’m working to encourage other young people to put God first and seek Him. It’s such a privilege to get to speak into volunteers’ lives and invest in them. I know first-hand how a year on YFC One can grow, stretch and change you. It’s seeing that change in others that I’m finding the most exciting and I’m looking forward to celebrating what God has done at the end of the year!

To young Christians considering a gap year, I’d say ‘go for it!’ You don’t have to be the finished product. Nor do you have to be perfect to be used by God to share the gospel.

For more information about our amazing gap year ‘YFC One’ please visit www.yfcone.co.uk