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Celebrating our 140th Anniversary

Delivering a Quality Programme

There’s no one way to plan or run a successful high-quality programme, but there are some universal things to consider which will help you to ensure that you’re offering the very best experience to the young people you engage with each week.



The starting point, before you set out on planning your programme is to consider what your vision is, what you are setting out to achieve. It’s important to think about what you want to achieve during the next year (or session) and set some targets. A purpose-built resource for doing this is the Company Development Scheme. Some additional questions that might help you create this vision could be, what you want the young people in your Company to be saying about their BB experience and how you would like your leadership team to feel?

You could now move on to generating ideas, based on the key dates you have identified and other ideas that could be added in. At this point you are seeking out a key theme or activity each date you plan to meet within the term, some ideas based on this and identify links to awards.

Having worked together creatively to plan the next term, encourage members of the team to take a couple of the meeting night ideas away and plan these in more detail.

Download Termly Programme Planner (Microsoft Word)



Themes can be really helpful in planning your programme, with themes being linked to a key date you have identified (i.e. Fairtrade Week or UK Parliament Week) or just something you look to use to build up a balanced programme.

If you take a theme and start to expand it, based on running an evening for Seniors you could look to include as many Activity Areas from the Company Programme as you can (Get Active, Get Adventurous, Get Creative, Get Involved, Get into the Bible and Get Learning). This helps avoid your programme going in one direction and being too ‘Get Active’ focussed (physical, games, etc). Perhaps you want to set yourselves a target to cover at least 3 Activity Areas each time you meet.

Check out the Themed Programme cards which include at least 5 activities with activities from at least 4 of the Programme Activity Areas.



We can sometimes get wrapped up in the programme and not make enough time to spend quality time speaking with and getting to know the young people. Making time in your programme, to chat with young people, both individually and as part of a group to find out what they are doing at school or at home is really important. Consider how you could incorporate the right opportunities into your programme.

Remember! Your programme is what brings children and young people to BB, relationships are what keeps them there. Remember PARK – Programmes Attract, Relationships Keep



Don’t try and do everything yourself. Get all your team involved and make it clear what everyone’s responsibilities are, so everyone has a clear role. Delegate out responsibilities based on the skills, knowledge and experience of the team. This will ensure that those leading activities have time to breath and are not running from one activity to the next. If you don’t have the right skills or knowledge within your team then you should look outside the team to find somebody suitable to come in and support you in leading a specific activity, whatever this may be. Remember that in bringing somebody in who is not a registered BB leader that they should be supervised at all times.



Having completed your termly planning and added more detail it is important that all staff members are aware of the plan. Ideally a week before or just after your previous meeting you should share the programme plan for the next week, identifying who is going to be responsible for what on the night and what, if anything, needs to be prepared in advance.

Download Weekly Programme Planner (Microsoft Word)



Whether you meet in the evening on a weeknight or on a Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon, make sure you arrive at your meeting place with plenty of time to setup and prepare. Getting along early and setting up the spaces you will be using will ensure the programme flows well. Consider how you can best utilise different spaces, and where you can setup activities, so young people aren’t left waiting. If you have a regular setup which works for your programme, perhaps you could see if there is a volunteer within your Church that could assist with this or make this happen before you arrive, so it’s one less thing you need to do. Plan to have everything setup so you are ready to open the doors and welcome young people up to 10 minutes before the set start time of your meeting.



When planning the programme for a particular age group it is helpful to have awareness of what is going on across the other sections in your Company. Progression is all too often overlooked, but is extremely important when we consider how we retain children and young people through the Company.

Progression is about ensuring that we are able to build on the opportunities, experiences and skills a young person has throughout their time in the BB. To do this we need to ensure that there are always things to look forward to, things that are not offered in other sections, or things that build on what has already been achieved in younger age groups.

It’s about making sure the programme is not repetitive and that a young person is always developing and growing. Consider how you could work more effectively in your Company to do this, for example with certain activities you might agree that these are only offered at certain points or at a certain age. With something like residentials you could look at progression from Juniors going on a day trip to camp, Juniors having the opportunity to go on a weekend away, Company going on a week’s camp in the summer and Seniors an international trip. This same concept needs to follow through with everything we do in our programmes.



We believe the voice of our children and young people is extremely important and it is our responsibility to listen to and actively involve them in planning their programme.

There are many ways to get children and young people involved. Getting feedback and ideas from your young people is key to delivering a successful programme. Consider how you could create opportunities to do this, this could be built into your programme each term, so that you can then plan more effectively for the next term. The best way to engage the children and young people will differ by age group, but don’t just think it is just the older members that will have ideas on what they want to do and views on what they’ve already done – include all age groups.

Here are some examples of how young people could be involved:

  • Anchors – Provide an opportunity for individuals or the group to choose one or two games to play during that night or next week.
  • Juniors – Ask the children to vote on a range of activities (i.e. likes and dislikes) which could be linked to your programme planning for the next term.
  • Company – Ask young people to contribute their own ideas for the programme, this could be run as a Dragon’s Den style activity.
  • Seniors – Support young people in planning and delivering their own programme or a programme for another group of young people.

It’s important once you’ve done this, that you make sure that your young people are aware of how and where their ideas have been included in the programme. This will boost their confidence and make them feel valued and listened to, and that their voice matters.



It’s important that we review our programme and activities to make sure they are meeting the needs of members. The most effective way to do this is by completing regular reviews with both members and leaders and taking action to improve the quality of the programme. So make sure you take time to do this on a regular basis.



To be able to run a high-quality programme you will need some equipment. Below is a list of items it would be useful to have in the cupboard at your meeting space.


  • Team Bibs
  • Uni-Hoc Set
  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Large Hoops
  • Bean Bags
  • Tennis Balls
  • Skittles  
  • Marker Cones
  • Whistle
  • Hand Pump
  • Stopwatch


  • Cash box
  • First Aid Kit
  • Bible


  • Paper / Card (assorted)
  • Scissors (inc left-handed)
  • Pens / Pencils
  • Glue Sticks
  • Clipboard
  • Pencil Sharpener
  • Eraser
  • Masking Tape
  • Sellotape
  • Basic Cooking Equipment

Please note this is not an exhaustive list and we would encourage you to look to expand the range of equipment you have available depending on storage and financial constraints