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What are the benefits and barriers young people face when coming to The Boys’ Brigade?

Friday 16th June 2023

As you may have seen over the last few months, we have been working with our Young Leaders Group to highlight some of our amazing young people and leaders across the country. We wanted to hear what they had to say about the benefits and barriers of being part of The Boys’ Brigade.

We asked Refresh, the PR and communications agency who helped to deliver the project, to share what they learned during their time working with us…

As a PR agency, we work with a whole host of different businesses and organisations, so it was great to get to work alongside children and young people who are so passionate about The Boys’ Brigade and the work their groups do in the local community.

From getting to know the members and leaders, we got to hear what some of their barriers were when they first joined The Boys’ Brigade, or what they think is stopping their friends at school from joining.

A welcoming place for everyone

A common barrier that we picked up on is that people assume they must be Christian to attend. However, we know that whilst The Boys’ Brigade’s work is rooted in the Christian faith, it is welcoming to people of all faiths and none, so this was one of the key messages we wanted to share.

When speaking to one of the brilliant young leaders, Sam, he said that The Boys’ Brigade is “a safe place [for young people] to come, share their values, explore their faith and learn at the same time with friends, who don’t necessarily need to be part of a group because when they come, we’re all just one family”.

Hearing this come from one of the respected leaders and being able to feature it in our video campaign will no doubt encourage others to join The Boys’ Brigade and assure them that everyone is welcome.

Supportive and inspiring leaders

We also got to listen to the young people who faced barriers when first joining and are now fully fledged members of the organisation.

Jordan, a member from 2nd East Kilbride, said: “I was really scared to come at first but everyone was really nice, I made friends really quickly and the leaders are all really great and supportive.”

We could see first-hand, from visiting five different BB groups, just how supportive the leaders are. The connection that the leaders have with the members is a very special bond. Anyone could see just how much respect the members have for their leaders and vice versa. When speaking to another of the leaders, Rachael at 53rd Manchester, she talked about how she wants young people to take away the fact that they “can be who they want to be”.

Rachael continued, “and hopefully we can steer them in the right direction and equip them for the real world!”

Thank you for inviting us into your groups East Kilbride, Manchester, Glasgow, Rainford and Sheffield! We hope you’ve all enjoyed watching the videos and we can’t wait to continue our work with The Boys’ Brigade’s leadership team to help break down these barriers and spread the message of what a welcoming organisation The Boys’ Brigade is.

Claire Newmarch
Account Manager, Refresh PR


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