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Celebrating our 140th Anniversary

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Wednesday 12th August 2020

To say a lot has changed in the last six months, I think you will agree is an understatement! We have all experienced life “in lockdown”, establishing new routines and ways of keeping in contact with friends and family. It has certainly been a challenging and concerning time.

The impact on The Boys’ Brigade has been significant too. The way in which we engage with young people is unrecognisable compared to the beginning of the year. The creation of #BBatHOME has become central to the way we deliver the programme and virtual sessions have increasingly become an important part in maintaining contact with members. Just six months ago #BBatHOME didn’t exist, and I for one hadn’t even heard of zoom!

Although such rapid change can be overwhelming and scary, as we begin to prepare for a return to face-to- face activities, we should pause and reflect on all we have achieved during this period. The Boys’ Brigade has not closed or retreated, just adapted to meet the needs of the times. I continue to be inspired by all the imaginative ways that leaders have found to establish a sense of community, as we support and encourage one another.
The response of a parent in the #BBatHOME survey sums this up for me.

“As a family, we’ve really appreciated the efforts made by the leaders during these uncertain times. Their commitment to weekly zoom meetings and staying
in touch with the boys has been a really positive experience for our son. I think the BB activities will feature strongly and positively in his memories of this time”.

The focus of this Gazette is to celebrate all that has been achieved during these unprecedented times, and to prepare leaders for returning to face-to-face activities from the beginning of the new session. Of course, we must all accept that this doesn’t mean we will be able to go back to doing things how we did them before. Our new way of operating will look quite different.

To assist leaders, we have developed a guidance framework which sets out the steps that need to be taken to prepare for welcoming young people back to face- to-face activities when it is safe to do so. I encourage you to take time to read the information contained in the pages of this Gazette, and to consider as a staff team, in conjunction with your sponsoring church, how best to approach a return to face-to-face activities. It will be vital that we build confidence with leaders, young people and their parents.

Our Church buildings and meeting venues may have been closed, but our work in equipping young people for life and sharing with them the Good News of Jesus has continued to be at the forefront of all we do.

Go forward in faith, as we step out on the next chapter of our journey together through the work of The Boys’ Brigade.

Thank you for all you continue to do

With best wishes

Jonathan Eales
Chief Executive

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