Over the past few years, our staff team has grown and changed. In 2019, we want to help you get to know the Gateway team! Each month a few of our blogs will introduce you to a different staff member. This week we will be meeting Alex Joiner.


Alex, what is your job title?

I am Gateway’s Voluntary Community Development Worker.


Can you briefly explain your job to us?

I work to develop and grow Gateway’s work in the local community around St Mark’s. The includes meeting local agencies such as Caring Together Elderly Network, Leeds City Council and other churches to promote Gateway’s activities and join with initiatives in the area. I also head up Christians Against Poverty Life Skills courses and run CAP money workshops at Leeds City College.


What is your favourite part of your job?

I love meeting the older people from Caring Together who visit St Mark’s three or four times a year for coffee, cake and chat. It is wonderful to talk to people who came to St Mark’s as children or were married here. They have so many stories to tell.

At the other end of the spectrum, since October 2018 I have been working with 16-18 year olds at Leeds City College where I run CAP Money for Youth. This provides a fantastic opportunity to help students think about how to manage their money well. Working in this environment has been something I have wanted to do for many years and has the bonus of helping me feel slightly youthful.


What is your favourite Bible verse or story? Why is it your favourite?

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. (1 Peter 4:10)

To me this sums up how we should live out our Christian lives. Using the gifts and talents God gives for the benefit of others is something we can all do.


What do you like to do to relax after your work day?

Since January 2017, I have been building a 00 gauge model railway based upon a Devon branch line from the 1950/60s. There are always new buildings, scenery and people to make and paint for the layout, not to mention constant track maintenance to ensure locomotives run smoothly. But at least there are no leaves on the lines!
This is probably a never ending project as there is always some extra detailing to add to make it look more realistic. I have photos if anyone is interested.


If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, what would you have a good chance at winning a medal for?

I think this would be getting on quietly with the job without drawing too much attention.


Alex works flexibly and represents us in the community at various events and through different projects.