Know Your Value - The Message
07 Nov 2023

Know Your Value

Lydia, is our Respect ME worker in the East Midlands, heading into schools with power-packed sessions on topics like mental health, relationships and self-esteem, all from a Christian perspective. We caught up with her to hear what’s been happening recently.

How did you first hear about Respect ME?

After spending 13 years as a secondary school teacher and mentoring local teenagers in Lincoln, I felt God nudging me try something new. I did supply teaching for a bit before a friend introduced me to Respect ME and their work educating and empowering young people to make positive life choices, all centred-on Bible truths.

I observed a Respect ME lesson about recognising abusive behaviours, and felt God say that this was what he was leading me into. 

I’m desperate for young people to know their true value and to not compromise this to feel loved, accepted and valued by the world’s standards. Now I feel privileged to fuse my passion for Jesus with teaching and helping young people hear gospel truths in a relatable way, all whilst helping schools as they tackle some of the toughest topics in youth culture.

What does a normal Respect ME session look like?

In every single lesson, our main goal is to serve each school well, honour the message of the gospel and create a safe space for any students that need a listening ear. 

On a typical day, Naomi (another schools worker here in the East Midlands) and I arrive early at a school to meet staff, and run through the lesson content. We pray in our teaching space, asking God to lead us so we can be sensitive to what he wants to do in the lives of the young people. 

Each lesson typically lasts 50 – 60 minutes and includes curriculum content, games, sharing our stories, key aspects of the law and giving plenty of opportunities for students to voice their opinions. There is often a real mix of laughter, ‘lightbulb’ moments and silence as we unpack the topics from a Christian perspective.

We eat lunch with staff and students before heading into the afternoon lessons. At the end of the day, we take a selfie to share where we have been on social media and then pray before driving home, tired but happy!

What do you love most about being able to take Respect ME sessions to young people?

Every young person has a story. They are at a wonderful yet vulnerable age, trying to find their place in the world and seeking to belong. They have so much to offer and need encouraging, equipping and empowering to discover their potential in a supportive environment. I love being able to facilitate that with them through Respect ME by showing them they’re valued and helping them consider a God-given identity – it’s precious. I think that sometimes young people just need reminding they are enough and to know that someone is cheering them on! I love being able to do this.

One young person, Jenny* springs to mind. I was in her school delivering sessions all about positive relationships vs abusive behaviours. I noticed during the lesson that Jenny was really engaged, and she responded to my questions to the class with really insightful answers.

After the session, she got chatting with me saying that the lesson examples of coercive relationships where teens compromised their values to feel loved and accepted was in fact her story. What started as flattery from a guy a few years older than her had led to substance abuse, deceptive behaviours and had put her on the fringes of criminal involvement.

Thankfully, she said that the session had given her a wake-up call where she could speak to a trusted adult and change her story going forward. Jenny said that the Respect ME lesson had created a space where she felt seen and safe to share her story, and I was able to speak into her life, telling her how valuable she is, and sharing that there was hope for her future because of the love of Jesus. To do this with young people across the East Midlands is such a privilege.


To find out more about Respect ME and how you can book our sessions for your local school or youth group, visit