Who we are
COOL is a Christian youth work project in the West Highlands of Scotland that aims to encourage and support all children and young people, primarily helping to meet emotional, social, and spiritual needs. Our goal is to see young people become successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens, and effective contributors through exploring the Christian faith, discovering more about God and the Bible, and responding to the significance of Jesus Christ.
The COOL work extends over a geographical area of approximately 640 square miles, and we have the privilege of visiting 11 primary schools and Plockton High School on a regular basis. Our main work in schools includes Religious Observance assemblies, drop-in clubs, Religious & Moral Education and pastoral support as well as supporting specific projects as required. We also work alongside community youth clubs and church groups to encourage, train, and support local parishes. This includes residential youth weekends, Holiday Bible Clubs in the summer, other residential trips to youth events, and leading teams on overseas aid projects.
COOL work in partnership with SU Scotland through its Associate Worker Scheme, which has employed a full-time youth and schools’ worker. The worker is supported by the management committee, local church leaders and youth leaders. We are very thankful to have the support and encouragement of our primary schools and high school, and therefore, endeavour to have an excellent standard in all that we do. To achieve this we undertake regular training and development offered by SU Scotland as part of its scheme, and also by other organisations training for work with children and young people.
COOL (Christian Outlook on Lochalsh) was established in March 2001 as a community-based response, by a group of local churches, to the lack of opportunities for young people living in Lochalsh, Lochcarron, Applecross, Glenelg and South Skye. The organisation was formed as a “Trust” and is registered as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCI0).
The purpose of the Trust is to benefit young people through supporting and facilitating existing Christian youth work, and providing additional social, recreational, and spiritual opportunities for them. The Charity secured funds from private donors and in 2002 Lloyds TSB Foundation provided funding for a three year period under the main grants programme.
The Trust appointed a Youth and Schools Worker in November 2001, who remained in post until December 2017. During this period, a wide range of activities for young people living in the areas referred to were developed. Following an eight month vacancy COOL’s second Youth and Schools Worker was appointed and took up his post in August 2018.
The work has continued to develop various activities including Religious Observance Assemblies, Carol Services, Drop in Clubs, Friday evening fellowship, Holiday Clubs in different locations and an annual youth weekend away. The work continues to be supported by a dedicated team of volunteers. Financially COOL continues to be funded by private donors and churches, and the Trustees and Management Committee are thankful to God for His continued provision of generous supporters who have prayerfully and financially enabled COOL to develop since 2001.
Vision and Values
Our vision is to see all children and young people in our area encouraged and supported, helping them to explore the Bible, a relationship with a loving God, and the significance of Jesus Christ.
Our values can be summed up in these 3 words:
Higher – looking up to God
He is above all things and knows all things, and so we must look to Him. We desire to know Him more and listen to what He is saying, so we make spending time with Him a priority.
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.”
Wider – looking out by God’s Spirit
As we look up and listen to Him, we will have a desire to look out to let other people know too. We believe the Bible message, and in particular what Jesus taught and did on the cross, is something that everyone should hear and have the opportunity to respond to.
2 Corinthians 5:19-20
“… And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.”
Deeper – looking into God's Word
Just as we look higher to God and look out to share the message of the Bible, we need to know the message and so look deeper into His Word. As we delve deeper into the Bible, we learn about who God is and what He has done for us, and so it deepens our relationship with Him.
2 Timothy 3:15-17
“…how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
THE COOL SCOTLAND TEAM
Timmy started his role with COOL in August 2018 after working in engineering and construction in the local area for over 3 years. Although originally from Northern Ireland, he moved to Scotland in 2009 to study at the Faith Mission Bible College and has never left since! He is married to Janette and has 3 beautiful children who like to keep him on his toes. Besides his role with COOL he enjoys spending time with his family, playing music and being in the outdoors.
The Trustees are passionate about the work of COOL and have ultimate responsibility for the running of it; overseeing all aspects of the work to ensure it remains true to its main objectives.
Colin MacDonald (Chairperson)
Rev Roddie Rankin
The Management Committee has a desire to see the work of COOL thrive and grow, as they support and work alongside the Schools and Youth Worker. They are appointed by the Trustees to manage the day to day running of COOL.