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Celebrating our 140th Anniversary

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England And Wales Team Update – One Year On!

Tuesday 14th November 2017

As we approach the end of 2017, we look back at the previous session and catch up with the staff team to see how their new roles have developed…

Natalie Whipday

Director for England and Wales

It has been an extremely busy but enjoyable year for the team. Our initial focus was identifying a true understanding of the current needs of Companies within the Region. A priority was to form links with Districts, Battalions and Companies opening clear lines of communication between them and England and Wales HQ.

Various Brigade HQ functions have also been Regionalised such as the processing of;

  • Holiday / Expedition Notifications
  • Awards – Queens, President Badges, Long Service Awards
  • Training records
  • Complaints
  • Enquires

Some highlights of the year have been the very successful Get Active Roadshows, Unite camp going from strength to strength and positive progress made in forming links with Government Officials in Wales and England. My team took the lead in ensuring that Brigade Conference in Manchester was hosted to a high standard. We are also due to host two Regional Juniors 100 Adventure Sleepovers to mark the centenary of the Junior Section.

It is evident to me that there is some outstanding youth work taking place, delivered by committed and dedicated leaders and that we are offering amazing opportunities to children and young people. Support is however required in many areas with identified needs being a lack of volunteers, church relations, recruitment and the quality of programme. I would encourage any leaders who feel their Company could benefit from support to please contact us. A continued priority will be working with existing Companies to sustain our numbers whilst also looking at areas of new work and raising our profile with Churches to assist with improving relationships and highlighting their role as our Partners.

Get in touch with Natalie by email natalie.whipday@boys-brigade.org.uk or by phone on 01442 509 520

Vaughan Staples

Areas covered include Northern England, The Midlands, North, Mid and West Wales

It has been a pleasure meeting and supporting the various Companies, Battalions and Districts I have met with over the past year. There are a number of strong Companies with a large number of young people and leaders providing quality programmes and opportunities to those in their care and this has been fantastic to see and learn from. There have also been a number of Companies who have been struggling and this has led to conversations on the best way forward for the leaders, young people and church involved. This has included looking at support plans, succession planning, sustainability, recruitment, retention and church relationships, and as a last resort, this has included closures. In a time where we are aiming to offer a quality BB experience to all our members, closing Companies is difficult but sometimes necessary. However where possible those few leaders or young people who have remained have been directed to other Companies, and many new Companies are in the process of starting.

As well as developing and supporting Companies and Battalions, it has been an incredibly busy year, taking lead roles in organising the OBM roadshows, Brigade Conference in Manchester, the Big Night Out, the upcoming Juniors 100 Adventure Sleepovers as well as attending many other regional and local events. All have given me opportunity to meet with the membership and listen to what support and guidance is required. I look forward to continuing to provide support in the coming session, so please contact me at the Northern Office in Manchester for any guidance you may need.

Get in touch with Vaughen by email v.staples@boys-brigade.org.uk or by phone on 01442 509 515

John Myers

Areas covered include London and South East England

A full year has now passed as Development Worker for London, East Anglia and the South East! It has been an exciting and busy year and it’s been a great pleasure to travel around various Battalions and Companies and meet so many Leaders, and children & young people. The focus of the year has been to introduce myself to all Battalions within my geographical area and offer help and support where possible. By forming working relationships with local Battalions, it is hoped that these partnerships will help to support local BB Companies, especially those who have identified the need for support and work towards providing quality services/provisions for our members.

Get in touch with John by email john.myers@boys-brigade.org.uk or by phone on 01442 509 534

Gareth Hillier

Areas covered include South Wales and South West England

It’s been an exciting year, one which has been full of challenge but also opportunity. I have enjoyed getting around many of the Battalions and Companies, widening my knowledge of the Brigade, outside my previous remit of just focusing on South Wales. This has enabled me to broaden my approach in improving the quality of what we deliver. I have loved seeing the great work that happens week in week out. I am encouraged by meeting so many amazing volunteers who give so much to making the BB what it is. Part of my role has seen me working with struggling Companies and a highlight has been seeing the improvements made over the last 12 months. A personal highlight was the event we ran at the Welsh Assembly. It was a tremendous success and we have had some great opportunities since then and I look forward to holding more events at the assembly with the aim of raising our profile.

Get in touch with Gareth by email gareth.hillier@boys-brigade.org.uk or by phone on 07411 624044

The England and Wales Team are based at the Northern Office in Manchester and the England and Wales Headquarters at Felden Lodge, supported by our Administrator, Graham Weston.

All general enquiries can be directed to the England and Wales Team by calling 01442 288 558 or emailing ewhq@boys-brigade.org.uk.

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