Sandbach YCW Impact Group Action for Refugees

On Sunday 8th October,  the Sandbach YCW Impact group organised a coffee morning after Mass in aid of the refugees in Myanmar/Burma.

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There was a prize quiz and a presentation about the situation. It was very well attended and a very enjoyable event for the parishioners after church. The group were able to raise over £300 for Myanmar.

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In the picture Mary, Kathleen, Joey, Luther, Esther (the section president) and Harvey.

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YCW National Training and Development Worker, Marc Besford, congratulated the Group on their efforts saying: "This is a fantastic example of the young people working through the YCW method and building up their skills in Christian leadership. Well done to them!"

National Team Visit the North East

Last week, Marc and Fr John from the National Team, spent 4 days visiting the North East YCW and Impact groups, as well as potential new groups that being formed.

They first visited St Anthony’s School, Sunderland - alongside Sean Smith (National Treasurer) - where they met Sister Josepha and the Impact! group. The discussion was lively and all of the group were engaged in the topic of mental health. 

Next day they visited Carmel College, Darlington and St Michael’s Academy, Billingham. There was also the opportunity to join the Billingham YCW parish group in the evening. The team then met with Professor Peter Kelly, who is the Director of Public Health for the North East, in the hope that the we can work together in the future on issues that affect young people.

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On the last day of the visit, Marc and Fr John visited St Bede’s School, Peterlee and the Ushaw YCW Group.

Overall the North East visit was a great success with a possible three new groups forming (St Michael's, Billingham & St Patrick's, Consett & Carmel College, Darlington), as well as another group in St Bede's Peterlee with the possibility of a third.

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Marc welcomed the chance to visit the region saying: "It was nice to be back in the North East again, having moved down from here to join the YCW National Team in August. This region has seen a growing number of groups for us since we moved the HQ to the North and I hope we can continue to support the good work that's going on."

Training for New Adult Companions and Chaplains

There is an upcoming training session for new Adult Companions to be held on 23rd October, 7-8:30pm - at St Anthony's House, Eleventh Street, Trafford Park, Manchester, M17 1JF.

The course will cover the basic principles and methods of the YCW, tips on how to get started, an in-depth look at the role of an adult companion and how they fit into the YCW meetings. Finally, it will look at the most important aspects of being a companion, how best to support the young people in the group.

Please get in contact if you are keen to attend or would like more information.

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Training Event for YCW & Impact Companions and Chaplains

On Saturday 14th October 2017, 11.00am - 4.00pm there will be a training event for YCW & Impact Companions and Chaplains held at St Antony's Centre, Trafford Park, Manchester, M171JF.

The day will include an introduction by the National Team into the new YCW project on Young People and Mental Health and an update on the 80th Anniversary Year of the YCW.

There will also be a talk by Colette Burke on "The Art of Listening". Colette is a highly trained and experienced counsellor, who will be using Ignatian Spirituality to help develop skills around active listening. 

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We hope to see as many companions and chaplains there and we're sure it'll be a worthwhile day.

Billingham YCW Group Meets With ICYCW

On Thursday 27th July 2017, Billingham YCW group, whilst on pilgrimage to Rome, visited the International Coordination of the Young Christian Workers (ICYCW) HQ to meet the team there.

Berhanu Sinamo, who is the International President, and Idy Balberan, the International Treasurer, warmly welcomed the pilgrims, gave them a tour of the HQ and spoke about their work, their ambitions and future projects, whilst also giving the Group a greater understanding of the International dimension of the YCW.

Berhanu said of the group “It was a great experience and exchange for us and also to meet young people from the local level. They are doing great work, especially regarding fundraising activities and support for others outside their parish.”

Marc Besford, who led the YCW group, said: "This was a unique opportunity for the group to meet the International team and for them to share their experience of the YCW. They quickly understood that they were part of something bigger than Billingham."

The President of the Billigham YCW Group, Callum Walker, added: "I really enjoyed meeting the International team. We were all saying that we were looking forward to returning to the parish with a better understanding and realisation of how our work is truly contributing to an international movement of young people."

New President of the YCW in England and Wales

The Young Christian Workers has officially welcomed its new President, Kate Wilkinson today. This follows her unanimous election at the 78th National Council of the YCW held back in April 2017.

Kate, 25, is a long-time member of the YCW having become involved in the movement when she was at high school. The President is a voluntary position, involving chairing the regular team meetings and annual National Council, representing the YCW at home and abroad, and coordinating the training and development programme. Alongside this new role, Kate works as a Chaplain at Carmel College, St Helens.

She takes over from Phil Callaghan, who has been President for the last 6 years. In recent years, Phil has overseen moving the YCW headquarters from London to Trafford Park in Greater Manchester, the largest industrial estate in Europe.

Commenting on the handover, Kate said: “The YCW has a proud history of encouraging young people to step up and take responsibility for the running and development of the movement. In this 80th year of the YCW in England and Wales, I am honoured to continue this. I would like to thank all those who have contributed to the movement over those years, but in particular Phil who has led the YCW so well over the years. We have a growing number of members and groups, established our new HQ and an ambitious vision for the future. I look forward to the opportunity to continue this great work.”

Phil added: “Kate will be an excellent President. She knows and loves the YCW. I’d like to thank all those who have made my years as President so memorable and enjoyable, it has been a privilege.”

Today also marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Fr. Joseph Cardijn, who founded the YCW in Belgium in 1925 and was later to be made a Cardinal for his work with the movement. Cardijn visited Britain on a number of occasions, remarking that "it was the best retreat I made at the beginning of my priesthood." He was inspired by his talks with Trade Union leaders, clergy and of course, local workers.  

Later this year, the YCW will be celebrating their 80th year in England and Wales on 18th November 2017 from 3pm, with a Mass at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Evangelist in Salford, followed by a celebration in the Cathedral Assembly Room. All members, past and present, friends and supporters are welcome.