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Celebrating our 140th Anniversary

Welcome to the facilitator notes for Youth Leader Training. The Boys’ Brigade recognises the importance of having properly trained leaders with relevant skills, knowledge and attitudes required to ensure competent and effective work with children and young people.

The YLT material has been drawn together from a wide range of sources by a number of BBHQ staff and volunteers. Guidance from a variety of Statutory and non-statutory settings has also been considered. In addition, the material takes account of BB Policy, regulations, guidance and procedures. We want to provide leaders with the training and development to ensure they are committed, competent and safe in line with our mission, vision, and values.

To enable participants to deliver the BB mission by equipping them with the skills, knowledge and attitudes to work effectively with children and young people.

Each of the sessions has an objective of what is to be achieved and a set of learning outcomes, which define what the learner will get out of the session. Trainers, as part of the course, should show the objective and the learning outcomes for each session and make sure that these are effectively communicated to the group.

Each session should be concluded with a recap of the learning outcomes as a reminder of what you set out to achieve and an acknowledgement that you have done so. This will help pick up any specific omissions, which can be addressed at that stage rather than just written on an evaluation sheet at the end of the training, when it may be too late to address.

The main theme of Youth Leader Training is the building and maintaining of trusting relationships with children and young people. From this basis flow the other aspects of Christian youth work; sharing faith, safe working practices, participation and empowerment and equal opportunities. There are modules covering all these issues within Youth Leader Training.

Youth Leader Training is designed to support the Object, Vision, Mission and Values of The Boys’ Brigade, acknowledging that a Christian commitment underpins the work of each BB company.


Our object is the advancement of Christ’s kingdom amongst boys and the promotion of habits of obedience, reverence, discipline, self-respect and all that tends towards a true Christian manliness. This remains the bedrock of all that we do in the organisation.

Vision – WHY we do what we do

Our vision is that children and young people experience “life to the full” (John 10:10)

Mission – WHAT we do

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

Values – WHO we are

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). 

CaringThe 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.

InspiringWe 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.

Any registered leader (this includes registered Helpers) who wishes to complete training in order to develop the knowledge, skills and attitude required to be competent to effectively work with children and young people.

You will need the following items to run this programme:

  • Module 1: Flipchart, PowerPoint (internet access), Post-it notes
  • Module 2: Flipchart, PowerPoint (internet access), Leaders Code of Conduct handout,  Participation Ladder exercise, Empowerment Case Studies
  • Module 3: Flipchart, PowerPoint, Leaders Code of Conduct handout
  • Module 4: Flipchart, PowerPoint, Internet Access, Type of Abuse, Case Studies
  • Module 5: Flipchart, PowerPoint, Blank Risk Assessment template
  • Module 6: Flipchart, PowerPoint (internet access), Identity Cards for step forward exercise
  • Module 7: Flipchart, PowerPoint (internet access), access to games equipment/resources
  • Module 8: Flipchart, PowerPoint (internet access), Difficult questions sheet (O11 & U11)

Boys’ Brigade training will be completed as a series of modules. Modules E1-E3 are e-learning modules, covered as part of the registration process. Youth Leader Training will comprise of Modules 1-8, of which:

  • All participants will complete Modules 1, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8
  • Participants working with Anchors & Juniors will also complete Module 2
  • Participants working with Company & Seniors will also complete Module 3

Module 1 – Introduction to BB


To define youth work, understand your role as a leader in the BB and acknowledge the organisation’s Vision, Mission and Values.

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this module participants will:

  • Understand the Vision, Mission and Values of The Boys’ Brigade
  • Identify what a BB leader needs in terms of knowledge, skills and attitudes in order to work effectively with children and young people
  • Be able to name the four core values of youth work and understand how these form the framework for the content of Youth Leader Training

Module 2 – Working with Under 11s


To enable participants to work more effectively with under 11s through building positive relation­ships and being confident in developing an effective framework for delivery.

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this module, participants will:

  • Understand what we want to achieve when working with this age group.
  • Understand how to build positive relationships with children and their parents/carers, and the importance of an effective welcomes for new members.
  • Maintain positive and healthy relationships and understand appropriate boundaries.
  • Feel confident in developing an effective framework for the weekly meeting.

Module 3 – Working with Over 11s


To enable participants to work effectively with over 11s through building positive relationships and being confident in developing an effective framework where young people are empowered and encouraged to participate.

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this module, participants will:

  • Understand the nature of the relationship between a BB leader and a young person and identify why it is important to build relationships with young people
  • Understand how to build participation and empowerment into the programme
  • Understand what we want to achieve when working with this age group
  • Be able to maintain positive and healthy relationships and understand appropriate boundaries
  • Feel confident in developing an effective framework for delivery

Module 4 – Safeguarding

In the new Leader Development Community, Safeguarding will be a specialist area and it is not expected that all Leader Development Trainers will deliver this module. Trainers who would like to deliver the session will require to complete a Safeguarding delivery session with the Brigade’s Safeguarding Manager.


To enable participants to protect children and young people by raising awareness of Safeguarding & Child Protection issues and to know their responsibilities in this area.

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this module, participants will:

  • Understand Safeguarding and Child Protection in the context of their role within The Boys’ Brigade
  • Know how to Recognise, Respond to, Report and Record concerns about a young person

Module 5 – Managing Risk


To enable participants to provide a safe environment for children and young people and ensuring that activities are organised safely.

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this module, participants will:

  • Understand what we mean by providing a safe environment.
  • Understand your role and responsibilities.
  • Understand how to assess and manage risk.
  • Know what to do in an emergency and how to record/report.
  • Know where to access resources and guidance.

Module 6 – Equal Opportunities


To enable participants to work with young people in a way that is fair and just, and to be able to identify and challenge discrimination wherever it occurs, in the course of BB activities.

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this module, participants will:

  • Identify the main areas of disadvantage in society at large and how this is reflected in the BB
  • Identify where BB is doing well and where we need to improve

Module 7 – Programme Planning & Delivery


To give participants the skills and confidence to plan and run activities in the Company.

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this module, participants will:

  • Have an understanding of the programmes & awards for all ages groups
  • Know how to access programme resources and support
  • Have learnt how to plan and deliver a high-quality programme
  • Feel confident in leading group activities

Module 8 – Sharing Faith


To support participants in sharing their own faith and to enable them to assist young people in the ex­ploration of their spiritual selves and the Christian Faith.

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this module, participants will:

  • Have a basic awareness of the concepts of spirituality, faith and religion
  • Have developed the skills to respond appropriately and sensitively to questions asked by children and young people
  • Feel confident using structured and non-structured opportunities to talk about faith with the different age groups
  • Have explored ways in which we can partner the local church in sharing faith with children and young people

Most of the material in Youth Leader Training is designed to be delivered in a participative style, using a mix of:

  • Discussion
  • Participative learning exercises
  • Video, case study
  • Sharing or personal experience

Each session is designed to develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes for participants to be effective in their roles as BB leaders.

Youth Leader Training is fully supported by trainers notes, handouts, PowerPoint presentations and related reading matter for participants. The notes are not, however, a script and shouldn’t be delivered as a lecture. The content should not be altered or amended locally. We must ensure that delivery across the organisation is of a consistent high quality to provide the best experience for our children and young people. In addition, the Brigade are sometimes asked to provide information to organisations including Charity Commission, Insurers, Statutory Agencies (Police, Social Services), vetting and barring, confirming how individuals have been trained for their role. In the past this has been problematic because training has been amended locally.

The revamped Youth Leader Training material is available as an online resource only. This ensures that content can be updated easily, when required. Please feel free to download a paper copy for sessions you are delivering, however, you are encouraged to check the website content before delivering again in the future, so that you are always accessing the most up to date material.

The content will be regularly reviewed by the Leader Development Group and Headquarters, to ensure that it remains up to date and relevant. If you have any queries or comments about the content or if you are aware of any new recommendations in the world of ‘youth organisations’ please contact the group via leaderdevelopment@boys-brigade.org.uk

All participants should be engaged and fully participate in all modules within the training. YLT should be a safe environment, where Leaders can feel at ease to ask questions and explore any concerns they have in relation to how their Company operates.

You may find, during the course, that you become aware of information which highlights poor practice and is not in keeping with our policies and procedures, including the Leaders Code of Conduct. This will need to be followed up:

  • During a break in the course by gathering more information
  • After the course, in line with our complaints/Leaders Code of Conduct, perhaps with Headquarters support.

This is not a pass or fail course, and it is hoped that Captains only send participants that are competent to be leaders. It is really important that leaders understand all modules within YLT. If as a trainer you recognise that someone is struggling this needs to be explored – this may include  

  • Talking to the participant and checking how they are finding the sessions.
    • Is there anything particular they are struggling with? 
    • Are there any unmet needs?
    • Is there any additional support they need now (during the sessions) or later? 
  • Observing their interactions / contributions in group work
  • This may at the time require a phone call to the Captain or a follow up afterwards

If you still believe there are genuine concerns about a participant’s competency to be a leader and/or their engagement or participation in the training – you must report this to the Leader Development Manager for follow up.

Group size should be no less than 10 minimum. Ideally a maximum of 20/25. If you have more than 25, you will require additional time for groupwork feedback. In the Safeguarding module for every 5 more participants you will need to add 20 minutes to the session.

Facilitator’s notes and PowerPoint presentations for each of the modules are available on the BB website at *** using the password ***. Some of the modules include videos, the link for which are embedded in the presentation. An internet connection will be required to play the videos.

Handouts referred to in the various modules are available on the BB website at https://boys-brigade.org.uk/ylt-handouts/ the password to access is BBYLT2021!  (note that the exclamation mark at the end is required). Please provide the link to participants but ask that they only access those relating to modules covered at that time.

Where practical it is recommended that trainers work in pairs, this takes some of the pressure away from what can be a challenging role at times. With increased session time it will also allow an opportunity to share the workload, gives variety to the participants and can be useful in facilitating discussions. It does require careful preparation and trainers should agree in advance which exercises they will deliver. It is also valuable to debrief afterwards to help flag up improvements for the future. Trainers to assist with the facilitation of small group work is encouraged.

Participants attending a Youth Leader Training course will have different experiences of the BB, some will have been a young person in the organisation, others will have come along as an occasional Helper and are looking to widen their knowledge and experience. As well as BB knowledge participants will bring a number of transferrable skills from other settings, including further education and the workplace.

As part of the registration process everyone attending should have completed e-learning Modules E1-E3 – Introduction to BB, Safeguarding and Managing Risk – as e-learning through Online Brigade Manager (OBM) and undergone an induction within their BB company.

It is hoped that participants will complete Youth Leader Training early on in their leadership role but remember that induction for some participants may have been some time ago. The Managing Risk and the Safeguarding and Child Protection modules within Youth Leader Training will give more in depth knowledge of the topics.

When planning a course, Training Convenors should make sure that the following arrangements are made:

  • Venue – ideally it should be welcoming, clean, adequately equipped and easily accessible. The ability to provide participants with tea, coffee and a light lunch will make the training experience more positive and enjoyable
  • Staffing – the eight core modules should only be delivered by Leader Development Trainers
  • Joining Instructions – information sent to participants in advance of the training event should be clear, in good time and should be written in a way that makes people feel interested and enthusiastic about the training
  • Notification of a YLT course is required to be submitted to the Leader Development Manager through the ‘Submit a Course’ area on the website and after the course you should share the course participation list to leaderdevelopment@boys-brigade.org.uk in order that OBM records can be updated to reflect the training
  • All participants are required to:
    • Be a registered leader before applying to attend YLT – Trainers can check this by seeing a registration card, seeing the registration confirmation email or by checking OBM records (if you have Battalion access)
    • Have completed the e-learning modules before the YLT course – Trainers should see e-learning certificate or check OBM records (participants can register to view their own details and qualifications on OBM via https://obm.boys-brigade.org.uk/register.php

If participants cannot demonstrate the above two requirements they cannot attend the course

Course organisers should aim to send out course joining instructions to participants two weeks before the start of the course together with a letter/email or welcome from the Battalion/District. These should be sent directly to participants and should include the following:

  • Dates and timings (arrival/departure) for the course, including any additional dates required to complete the training
  • A copy of the programme
  • The aim of Youth Leader Training
  • Whether refreshments/meals are to be provided, and if so, any particular dietary needs e.g. vegetarian, vegan, nut allergy, etc.
  • A response form asking participants if they have any specific requirements to enable them to participate in the training i.e. handouts in large print, wheelchair access etc.
  • Details of where and when to return the form
  • The name and contact details of someone if participants have any queries about the course arrangements

The Youth Leader Training material has been designed to be delivered over two days, but may be covered over a series of evenings. Please ensure that modules are completed in full in one evening and not split over more than one session. The suggested programme delivery is noted below to allow for the training to flow naturally. Training courses are open and can include participants from any area. Through open access there is an opportunity to share ideas and best practice with leaders from other areas. Where possible, it would be helpful if the topics covered in Day 1 and Day 2 could be fixed, in order that a participant missing a part in their own area can complete their training with another. It is recognised that this is not always possible, due to the availability of your training staff.

2 Day Option

Day 1

Module 1 – Introduction to BB (60 mins)

Module 4 – Safeguarding & Child Protection (150 mins)

Module 2 – Working with Under 11s (150 mins) OR  Module 3 – Working with Over 11s (150 mins)

Day 2

Module 5 – Managing Risk (45 mins)

Module 6 – Equal Opportunities (60 Mins)

Module 7 – Programme Planning & Delivery (150 mins)

Module 8 – Sharing Faith (90 mins)

Weekday Evening Option

Day 1

Module 1 – Introduction to BB (60 mins)

Module 2 – Working with Under 11s or (150 mins) OR Module 3 – Working with Over 11s (150 mins)

Day 2

Module 4 – Safeguarding (150 mins)

Day 3

Module 6 – Managing Risk (45 mins)

Module 6 – Programme Planning & Delivery (150 mins)

Day 4

Module 7 – Equal Opportunities (60 mins)

Module 8 – Sharing Faith (90 mins)


There will be a centralised evaluation process through Survey Monkey. When sharing course information for sharing on the BB website, your course will be added on to a drop down on the Survey Monkey. You can share the link *** to participants and encourage completion before they leave.

If you have any questions or would like to talk about anything related to the training, please email leaderdevelopment@boys-brigade.org.uk or call 01324 550856.