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Celebrating our 140th Anniversary

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Launching our Five-Year Strategy

Wednesday 3rd February 2021

Be Bold, Be Strong

I believe my role as Chief Executive is to tell the story of our organisation, and in partnership with you, shape the journey ahead. The last few pages of the story have certainly been eventful, as we have all navigated the challenges of the past 10 months, and although it has been a difficult period there have been many positives to hold on to and to take with us into the future.

The new five-year strategy will take us to 2025 and will be vital in securing the long-term viability of the organisation, as we look ahead to the 150th anniversary and the kind of organisation we strive to be in 2033.

The strategy has been developed over the past eighteen months. It began with the largest consultation exercise with leaders we have undertaken for many years, which has seen us re-affirming our Vision, Mission and Values.

The pandemic has meant we have all had to do things differently, find new and creative ways of engaging with children and young people, as well as embracing new technologies and ways of communicating with each other.

We produced a report learnings from Lockdown which has influenced our future plans. Check out the ‘Learning in Lockdown’ report at boys-brigade.org.uk/learning-in-lockdown/

The result is our ambitious five-year strategy which will be realised through the creation of annual work plans. A recap of the journey……


Strategic Review

This independent review was conducted by Wren and Greyhound and captured the reflections, ideas, hopes and ambitions of our members. Survey responses were received from 1,255 leaders representing all regions, three focus groups were held and made up of leaders from a cross section of roles and experiences, with one group comprising of young leaders undertaking KGVI training. There were also 17 targeted interviews with key staff and volunteers from across the Brigade. The views were brought together and resulted in a report and clear recommendations.

The report summary is available to download at boys-brigade.org.uk/who-we-are/our-strategic-plan/


Vision, Mission & Values

It is essential that our future strategy is rooted in our Vision, Mission & Values and these are underpinned by the object of our organisation “To advance Christ’s Kingdom”.

Our Vision explains why we do what we do.
Our Mission explains what we do .
Our Values describe who we are and what we believe.


Our Vision

Is that children and young people experience “life to the full” (John 10:10).


Our Mission

The Boys’ Brigade has faith in young people and provides them with opportunities to learn, grow and discover in a safe, fun and caring environment which is rooted in the Christian faith.


Our Organisational Values

Faith – We are a Christian youth organisation, and our work is rooted in the Christian Faith. We have a hope
in Christ as our anchor that sustains us throughout life (Hebrews 6:19).
Caring – The Boys’ Brigade is a family. We believe in building loving, caring and inclusive relationships, as well as creating a safe and fun environment that is supportive and nurturing. We are responsive to the needs and aspirations of others regardless of ability, identity or background.
Inspiring – We seek to inspire children and young people, challenging them to live their lives in the fullest sense. We also believe in peoples’ abilities to inspire and act as positive role models to others.
Trust – We are honest and trustworthy. We seek to empower children and young people to participate and to lead, believing in their skills, abilities and ideas.

Our Vision, Mission and Values were highlighted in the Summer 2020 edition of the Gazette, they are the foundation on which our plans are built and the challenge for us all is to live out our values through our work with children and young people.

Find out more about our Vision, Mission and Values at boys-brigade.org.uk/ourvision/


Five-Year Strategy

The clear message from the consultations is that we need to focus all our efforts and energies on enhancing the quality of experience that is offered to our Children & Young People, ensuring that it is the constant high standard that we would all wish for.

You Said
The themes of Growth, Quality & Vision are understood and should be retained but that the focus on Quality should be front and centre.

In the new strategy
The emphasis will be on improving Quality and will be reflected in the prioritises, with the view that by improving the quality of our offering to children and young people, growth will follow.

You Said
Development of Programme resources and the opportunity to develop skills to be an effective leader are a priority.

In the new strategy
The targets under Quality will focus on four areas – the overall experience, programme, leader development and support/resources dedicated towards delivering these aims.

You Said
The Brigade structures are no longer fit for purpose and need to change.

In the new strategy
The new strategy includes a review of all our structures, and they will all be measured by how effective they are in supporting the needs of Companies.

You Said
Succession planning should be a priority, we need to recruit and retain the next generation of volunteers and provide young leaders with opportunities and support to step up.

In the new strategy
Developing the skills of all leaders and encouraging young leaders to shape the organisation at all levels will be a focus.

You Said
Retaining a focus on sharing faith is important and that working in partnership with the denominations and the local Church is key.

In the new strategy
Refocussing on our Vision, Mission, and Values will help communicate our purpose and core values to our members and beyond. Reaffirming the partnership with the Church in mission and outreach will also be a focus in our new plan.

The result of all your feedback is the creation of our new five-year strategy. It sets out the organisation’s priorities and goals for the next chapter of the journey, and there will be a role for us all in making these aims a reality. The detailed plan falls under the three headings of Quality, Voice and Growth:



We will improve the consistency of experience for children and young people by:

Overall Experience

  • Define the quality of experience and the characteristics that demonstrate this.
  • Communicate the definition and characteristics and begin to embed the quality of experience.
  • Support and Manage the quality of experience for children and young people.


  • Continue to refresh, resource and support programme for under 11s.
  • To refresh and develop programme resources for over 11s.
  • To launch resources and support programmes for over 11s.

Leader Development

  • Introduce a culture of continuous personal development at all levels.
  • Introduce and embed milestones for leaders including e-learning.
  • Actively embrace succession planning at all levels.
  • View and refresh core training modules
  • Establish and launch a new network of trainers.
  • Explore opportunities to recognise and reward development of leaders (including accreditation.)


  • Review and evaluate the performance of the current support structures.
  • To ensure there are environments to share ideas, challenges and best practice.
  • Provide direct support to leaders, including; employed staff, key volunteers, leaders’ website, OBM, and resources.
  • Review all categories of leadership in order to ensure their relevance and effectiveness.
  • Explore and make preparations for the necessary changes to the current support structure ensuring relevance and effectiveness of delivery.
  • Implement the necessary changes to the support structure.



We will raise the profile and increase participation of children and young people in shaping and representing the organisation at all levels by:

  • Review the brand identity for each age group and implement necessary changes.
  • Support the development of young leader networks.
  • Launch an alumni membership scheme to engage with former members.
  • Create an online platform aimed specifically towards young people.
  • Launch an external facing PR campaign co- designed and delivered by young people focusing on our strengths.



We will stabilise membership numbers within the lifetime of the plan by:


  • Support Companies that are ready for growth through the development of new resources.
  • Monitor and analyse membership data to identify trends and inform future priorities.

Develop Relationships

  • Engage with Churches at all levels.
  • Engage with kindred organisations and the wider youth sector.
  • Engage with other partner organisations (including funders).

A summary of the strategic plan can be found: boys-brigade.org.uk/who-we-are/our-strategic-plan/


Delivering our objectives

Annual workplans

We have had development plans in the past, but this is the first time that we’ve developed a detailed workplan for each year of the five-year strategy. The delivery of these workplans will help make the strategic plan a reality and will be the focus of the Brigade Executive (Trustee Board) and the meetings of Regional Committees. They will shape the priorities of the staff team, Executive Sub-Committees and will determine how our financial resources are allocated to provide maximum support to Companies.


Staffing Team

Following the development of our strategy we have re-aligned the staff resource to best support the delivery of the targets outlined in the five-year strategy. This will mean focussing on functions rather than focussing on roles with a geographical remit.


A role for everyone

I have outlined the journey that has led us to the creation of our new ambitious five-year strategy, the way it has been shaped by consultation and the rationale behind what has been included. The annual workplans and reconfiguring of the staffing team will assist in delivering the plan, but in the end, it will be down to each one of us to ensure that enhancing the quality of experience for children and young people now, and in the future becomes a reality. Future Gazette’s will highlight ways in which leaders can get involved locally to make this happen.

To deliver our plans will require boldness and determination, the new strategy will mean doing things differently, which will not always be easy. Our focus must be on the children and young people that make the organisation what it is, and how we provide them with the best possible experience and opportunities to learn grow and discover.

Jonathan Eales
Chief Executive

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