Coming of Age: Sept 2018-May 2019
A non-religious programme of exploration and discovery for young people aged 12-14.

Rites of passage matter
Throughout the world, people use rituals and ceremonies to accompany the transition from childhood to adulthood. These ceremonies play an important role for individuals, families, and communities as they help both young people and adults understand and integrate the transformation taking place. For young people, it’s a time to explore their changing place in the world.

A non-religious alternative
Traditional ways of marking this important transition are available to only a few young people. But New Unity’s Coming of Age programme makes this important experience available to all young people. It supports and celebrates this extraordinary time in a young person’s life, regardless of their background or family tradition. New Unity’s programme is open-minded; it assumes no ‘right answer.’ Instead, it helps young people - through individual and group exploration - to grow and clarify their own perspectives.

The Coming of Age programme
In this six-month programme, young people aged 12-14 have the chance to explore who they are and what matters to them, to bond with others, and to gain life skills. The programme is a transformative experience. It offers young people a space to wrestle with life's big questions, to develop greater self-responsibility and to gain self-confidence. Participants learn to deepen their notion of humanity and community, and clarify their own personal value systems. The programme includes community-building and reflection within the Coming of Age group, community service projects, creative activities, and individual work with adult mentors. It's led by New Unity staff members and volunteer adult leaders. An adult mentor also provides one-to-one reflective support for each young person’s individual journey. It concludes with a Coming of Age ceremony, celebrating each young person’s achievements on the programme, and giving them a chance to share what they’ve learnt.

What does the programme offer young people?
An understanding that they can make a difference in the community and world around them.
A chance to explore and clarify their own perspective of what matters most in life, developing their own value system.
A greater appreciation of human diversity.
Increased self-acceptance and self-confidence.
Communication skills and emotional intelligence.
Teamwork skills, building supportive community with the other participants.

Life’s big questions
We all have questions about our lives and many of us begin to ask these questions in earnest as we approach adulthood. The Coming of Age programme helps young people - whatever their beliefs, perspectives, or backgrounds - to explore these questions for themselves and reach some initial conclusions:
What matters most in life?
What is a good person?
Why am I here?
Do I have a purpose?
What’s my responsibility towards other people and the planet?
How can I be a good friend?
Am I normal?
How do other people go about answering these questions?

Practicalities
Open to: Residents of Islington and Hackney, aged 12-14 as of 1 Sept 2018.
Dates: Group sessions: twice monthly, 1st & 3rd Mondays 6-9pm, New Unity @ Upper St N1 2TZ. Coming of Age ceremony: 11am, Sun 26 May 2019, New Unity @ Newington Green N16.
Cost: £100 for New Unity members. £200 for non-members. Scholarships available.
Overnight or weekend retreat: Additional costs may apply, but scholarships are available.
Attendance. Participants are expected to be committed to the programme and to attend as many sessions as possible.
Inclusive. New Unity welcomes all people, regardless of ethnic/social background, ability, gender identity or sexual orientation.
Leaders & mentors: All are DBS checked.
Registration: Opens May 2018.