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.
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.”
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.”