NEW Resources for YCW Groups NOW AVAILABLE

At the heart of the Young Christian Workers is the opportunity for young people to come together and discuss important issues in their lives. The realities of our young leaders is what drives the movement forward.

That is why we produce essential resources for Groups to engage with and help kick-start the YCW method of SEE - JUDGE - ACT.

20181011_120427.jpg
20181011_120459.jpg

Kate Wilkinson, National President of the YCW, writes in the foreword: “These booklets are a guide to setting out on a great adventure. It gives our young leaders a plan to follow and some useful tools to help them on their way. It will be up to them to make the journey but we believe in the YCW Movement that young people people can do great things and given the chance, they can make a real difference in the world.”

20181011_120418.jpg
20181011_120442.jpg

For Adult Companions there is a special guide on "The Art of Accompaniment" with a foreword by Rt. Rev. John Arnold, Bishop of Salford. It sets out the all-important role of the Companion in accompanying the young people on their journey of faith, letting them lead but being there to support them.

St Anthony’s YCW In Sunderland Looking To Develop Leadership

The YCW Group at St Anthony’s Girls' Catholic Academy in Sunderland has been using the new school year to promote the movement and attract new young leaders to join.

Sister Josepha, who is adult companion to the group spoke with Marc Besford, National Training and Development Worker, about the plans for the year ahead.

Sr Josepha.jpg

Marc spoke with senior leaders in the school to explain what the YCW does and how it can transform the lives of their students. He set out the the fundamentals of the movement, based on Cardijn’s 3 Truths: the Truth of Faith, Reality and Method - as Cardijn described them: “The three truths that light up and explain the problem of working youth in the world today”.

It is through the contradiction between the truths of Faith and Reality that we can truly understand and appreciate the need for the SEE-JUDGE-ACT method. This gives the young people an opportunity to discuss their own realities and examine how this all fits into their local communities and the wider world, but then inspires them to act upon this with authentic Christian action.

As well as the recruitment drive for the school, there are also plans to establish a new group for those who have left the school but want to continue supporting the movement and developing themselves.

Marc said: “St Anthony’s have rightly been recognised for their outstanding work and have developed many young leaders over the years. Now I hope we will see a new group of young people take on the mantle and be the difference!”

National Team Visits Preston YCW And IMPACT Groups

Terry.jpg

Following a visit up to Preston last month to catch up on all that is happening, there is a lot of work to recognise that our young YCW leaders have been leading on.

There are a variety of Groups that meet across the city and represent the movement at various schools and across all ages. The groups are all ably supported by adult companion Terry Mattinson. The youngest group do various activities and games which involve teamwork, communication and social skills - all while having fun!

This helps to prepare them for when they join the IMPACT group, which uses its time to encourage the young people to voice their opinions on numerous issues through the YCW method.

One current project being run by the IMPACT group leaders is on well being and mental health. It is supporting the YCW’s National Campaign on mental health and young people, called MIND! The Gap.

However, they are also involved in a variety of social action on a local, national and even global level. For example: homelessness, cleanliness of public spaces, food banks, refugees and climate change. On several issues the Group are looking at doing a film project to highlight their concerns and give them a voice.

Marc Besford, National Training and Development Worker, who was shown round the Groups by Terry, congratulated the young leaders, saying: “The range of issues being looked at, judged and then acted upon are a testament to the power of young people being empowered as leaders. I’d like to thank them all for their inspiring work and Terry for his efforts in supporting the growth of groups up here.”

Urmston YCW Elects New President

Members of the YCW National Team visited the Urmston YCW Group last month to catch up with the young leaders there and welcome in a new group executive.

Outgoing President, Joe, is moving off to University and Anna has been elected to replace him.

After the rest of the positions were decided, the group looked at social needs through the SEE-JUDGE-ACT method and focused specifically on youth homelessness. Locally, nearly 2000 young people aged 16-24 were recorded as having received housing and/or homelessness support between 2016 and 2017.

Urmston.jpg

The Group have previously attended a talk on housing and Catholic Social Teaching, in order to deepen their understanding of the issue and how our faith can inspire us to respond.

The Church’s teachings remind us that housing is not a valueless system but a core part of what it means to live a dignified human life. Having adequate shelter is a basic human right; a right that the Church affirms as a key part of respecting and recognising our personhood. Ensuring everyone is able to access a safe, stable and adequate home is one part of working for the common good.

Marc Besford, National Training and Development Worker, who gave an update on the latest ACT stage of the MIND! The Gap campaign, welcomed the progress of the Group saying: “It is always great to see our young leaders thriving and developing their Christian leadership skills. I’d like to thank Joe for his work as President and wish him luck at University, I know that Anna and the rest of the Group will continue to build upon the amazing work here in Urmston.”

NEC Meets To Discuss Latest Updates On The Movement

NEC pic.jpg

Last month the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the YCW in England and Wales met to talk through the latest plans for the movement going forward.

The agenda for the day looked at reviewing the work that has been undertaken regarding the development of Groups - both YCW and IMPACT - improving communications within the movement and without and exploring opportunities to strengthen the finances of the charity.

Since moving up to Trafford Park, the focus of the movement has been to re-establish the presence of the YCW in schools and parishes across the North East and West. So far, the fruits of this work have been a doubling of Groups. The NEC, therefore, wanted to see how this can be sustained and built upon - looking at further opportunities to get started with. Plans are in place to develop as many as 19 more over the coming months.

Past Members.jpg

As the movement looks to expand, we also have to take advantage of the advances around technology and improve our communications. So far we have began this with a new monthly e-newsletter, which shares some of the inspirational work of our Groups and highlights upcoming events or training. This has already helped establish a revived Past Members Group that has met a few times now at the HQ.

It was also a chance to look at how the movement raises money and encourages donations. As we are totally funded by grants, donations and membership fees, it is essential that we have an effective strategy for raising the money to keep the development going. We are hoping to see some success from these efforts over the coming months.

The NEC also began the preparation for the new YCW Leadership Programme, which is currently being drawn up. It will look to distil the experience and expertise of the movement when it comes to building leadership skills amongst young people and offer them a chance to step up, take responsibility and Be The Difference!

MIND The Gap Logo.jpg

Finally, as we approach the final stage of the MIND! The Gap national campaign on young people and mental health, the NEC discussed how best we can encourage Groups to ACT on what they have Seen and Judged so far. As a national team, we will be looking to form our own ideas on how we can ACT on the issue - with a particular focus on how it could tie in with Laudato Si.

Sandbach YCW/IMPACT Group Continue To Inspire Solidarity For Refugees

A few months back we shared an update from the Sandbach Impact group, detailing their latest efforts to raise awareness of, and funds for, Syrian refugees. Well now they have been doing even more to build upon this inspiring show of solidarity.

The group organised a raffle to help the Syrian family that St Winefride’s, Sandbach are sponsoring to come and live in Sandbach. 

They have been raising money since last year after they initiated the idea of hosting refugees in the parish after following the SEE, JUDGE and ACT method within their group discussions on the topic.

It also followed Pope Francis' call in 2015 that: ‘"Every parish, every religious community, every monastery, every sanctuary of Europe, take in one family".

IMG_3678.jpg

President of the Impact Section, Esther Watson, and the wider group of young people, met with the Mayor Councillor Richard Hovey on the occasion of the draw.

There was an incredible response to the fundraiser with the raffle making over £800, which can be added to the total.

Kate Wilkinson, National President of the YCW, congratulated the Sandbach Group saying: "These young people continue to be an inspiration in showing their ability to lead and change the world for the better. Our movement exists to train young people to be leaders and to be driven by their faith, I hope by Sandbach’s witness to this that others will see the potential of our young people across the country.”