Living Wage Week 2018 Raises Pay And Awareness!

Earlier this month saw the Living Wage Foundation celebrate 2018’s “Living Wage Week” (5th-11th November).

The purpose of the week is to raise awareness about the need for a Living Wage and to celebrate responsible employers who pay it. (More details can be found online here:

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At the YCW we are committed to promoting the Living Wage as an essential part of ensuring dignity at work. At the heart of the movement is the idea that a hard days work deserves a fair
days pay.

We have produced a useful resource for any Group that would like to look further into the Living Wage, using the SEE, JUDGE, ACT method. This can be downloaded for FREE here:

Leadership And Friendship From Preston IMPACT Group Retreat

Last month the Preston IMPACT! Group took the time to hold a residential at Castlerigg Manor in the Lake District, in order to enjoy some time together, run workshops and reflect on their own realities.

The theme for the weekend was ‘SHARING VOICES’ and included a number of workshops and reflection, which were all led by young people on the weekend. This gave them the responsibility to lead and discuss the issues that they felt the need to have a voice on.

Some of these topics included debates about education, workshops on mental health and how to talk more openly about it and also about refugees..


Time was also given over the weekend to prayer and reflection in the Chapel. Again, the young people were given responsibility to look at the themes for prayer around “thanking God”, “saying sorry to God” and “asking God”, which allowed them to more deeply understand how God loves us and wants to be with us on our journey through life.

Throughout the weekend, it was really important to encourage the young people to build friendships with each other and there were plenty of fun activities organise by the Group to help deliver this.

One of the young people on the residential who helped organise the weekend, Hallie, reflected on it saying: “Over the weekend, we had learnt so, so much from each other and from ourselves. The weekend had brought so much to each of us either as a group or as individual people. Our eyes had been opened to new things that we hadn’t realised, seen or been aware of before.

I’d like to say thank you to everybody for making this weekend a truly special one and one that I will remember, thank you to all the new friends I made and a huge thank you to all the staff and leaders, especially to Terry for making the whole thing work!”

Sandbach YCW IMPACT Group Hit Fundraising Target For Refugee Sponsorship

There is further good news from the Sandbach YCW IMPACT Group’s efforts to raise enough money for a refugee sponsorship in their local parish.

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A few weeks ago the YCW National Training and Development Worker, Marc Besford, visited the Group to get an update and was told they had raised the full amount needed - £12,000 - after several fundraising efforts organised by the young leaders and the parish.

The Group have been raising money since last year to aid efforts for a Parish refugee sponsorship scheme, initiated by the Group. Not only have they been raising money but they have organised the rental of a house, collected furniture, helped with DIY, tidied up the garden and recruited volunteers.

The parish is now waiting on the family to arrive and are planning various welcome activities.

To build upon this amazing example, the young leaders are now looking at other issues through the YCW method of SEE-JUDGE-ACT and we hope to hear about more inspiring actions in the near future.

New Adult Companions Trained At HQ

Last month saw 10 new adult companions complete their initial training at the YCW HQ, setting them up to support the development of YCW/IMPACT groups in their parishes and schools.

The YCW prides itself on being ran by and for young people but we do ensure that a group can only start when there is an adult (over the age of 18 for an Impact group or over the age of 30 for a YCW group) who is willing to act as a chaplain or adult companion to the group.

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The presence of an adult in the life of the group is very important. The founder of the YCW, Joseph Cardijn famously stated that the YCW should be “everything by the young people but nothing without the chaplain.”

In endorsing our Guide for Adult Companions, the Bishop of Salford, Rt. Rev. John Arnold, said: “Having a companion on a journey, especially if that journey is long and sometimes difficult, is a great blessing. A YCW adult companion has the privileged task of accompanying young people on their journey as they face the challenges of teenage years, explore the meaning of their faith in everyday life and turn ideals into practical action.”

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The training ran through the fundamentals of the YCW and role of an adult companion but was also an opportunity to share some best practice from existing chaplains.

National Chaplain, Fr John Marsland, welcomed the new companions, saying: “The mission of the YCW is to put the reality of young people at the centre and ensure that the young people themselves realise their God given dignity and leadership abilities.

However, we can’t do this without the amazing support of our adult companions. They act as a sounding board for the young people, giving advice and guidance when necessary and support their journey of faith through many of life’s challenges. These new adult companions will do a great job delivering on this.”

Working In Partnership With Salford Diocese

Over the past year, Salford Diocese has been running the “Hope In The Future” initiative, which is designed to help grow the Church for future generations; and answer the call of Pope Francis for us all to be Missionary Disciples.

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As the Diocese has so kindly hosted our HQ since 2015, we wanted to help support these efforts and work in partnership to share some of our experiences with younger people in particular, but also how we have engaged our adult companions too.

The first stage of Hope in the Future focused on celebrating all that already exists in the life of parishes - with several YCW groups being highlighted as important parts of the community there. Stage Two builds upon this and aims to “Harvest Our Talents” and put them to use in local parishes.

There are lots of opportunities as part of this phase to truly engage our young people and inspire them to be the leaders that Cardijn spoke so often about. We have already attended smaller working groups to discuss how we can facilitate this, using our own leadership programme to harvest the talents of young parishioners across the Diocese.

To celebrate a successful first year, as well as look in hope towards the second, the YCW also attended a service at the Cathedral. It was a wonderful opportunity to speak to people from across the Diocese and catch up with many of the parishes that we are already working with.

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Marc Besford, National Training and Development Worker, said: “We see the mission of the YCW and the aspirations of Hope In The Future as very much part of the same journey. Our young leaders make a incredible contribution to the life of the Church in parishes across England and Wales, and even the world, so to be able to celebrate this was very much welcome. Now we are looking to keep up the growth of our movement and support local parishes at the same time.”