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April Newsletter

9th Apr 2019 by Scottish HQ

The latest monthly briefing is available from BB Scottish HQ is available below.

Should you have any issues accessing this, or have information you would like included, please contact


Raise the Bar Roadshows in England & Wales

1st Apr 2019 by England & Wales HQ

This session we have challenged ourselves to raise the bar and build on the quality of what we offer as an organisation. As part of our committment to raise the quality of experience for children and young people we will be running eight roadshows across the region.

Find out more and book by following the link below...


March 2019 Newsletter

5th Mar 2019 by Scottish HQ

The latest battalion newsletter includes information about resources, funding, events and much more. It is available via the link below.


January 2019 Newsletter

1st Feb 2019 by Scottish HQ

Included in this month's edition are details about the Raise the Bar Roadshows, expedition training, young leaders' opportunities and much more.

Click on the link below to download your copy.

Message from John Sharp, Director for Scotland:

That Man to Man, the world o'er, Shall brothers be for a' that.

The new year has got off to a busy start. I enjoyed seeing the variety of Burns Night activities taking place - everything from a youth-led Burns Supper to a 'Toss the Haggis' game! Isn't it terrific to see young people engaged in the life and works of the Bard?

I hope you will have seen the information we have shared recently about the Raise the Bar Roadshows that will be taking place around the country over February and March. The roadshows have been designed with what leaders have been telling us they would like more support and information on, including sessions on mental health and young people; working with children with additional support needs; and Faith development. I'd be grateful for your help in promoting the roadshows - more info is available here :

Last week it was great to welcome Godly Play Scotland to Carronvale to demonstrate what Godly Play actually looks like. There were lots of ideas discussed about how the resource could work in a BB context and they would welcome Companies or Battalions getting in touch with them to find out more.

Finally I'd like to take this opportunity to say a big 'Thank You' to our Year of Young People Advisory Group for all the work they have done over the last 14 months. It has been a real highlight for me seeing this group take the lead on so many different aspects of our work. Watch this space on plans for how we build on the work of the group. I hope you find the information in the attached newsletter useful.
Best wishes from Carronvale, John


Launching the Under 11's Programme

21st Feb 2019 by BB Headquarters

We are pleased to announce that new programmes for both the Anchors and Juniors age groups will be launched in April 2019 ready for take up in the 2019-2020 session.

Through our programmes we want to provide children and young people with opportunities to develop skills, to be creative, to have adventures, to try new things, to get to know Jesus and to make a difference. The new programmes have Activity Areas which will be used in both age groups, providing consistency for children and young people as they move through the organisation, as well as making it easier for those leaders that volunteer in more than one age group.


Raise the Bar: Taking on the Challenges

21st Feb 2019 by BB Headquarters

We're encouraging each and every Company to get involved in this sessions campaign.

Let us know what you're getting up to by completing our Raise the Bar survey at:

We've set out a challenge for us all to raise the bar and build on the quality of what we offer as an organisation during the 2018/19 session. There is already so much we can be proud of, but can we do more? 'Raise the Bar' is the title of our new campaign for this session and is set around 10 challenges for each Company, focussed on raising the quality of experience for children and young people.


Project Incredible concludes at Newport

6th Dec 2018

The Boys' Brigade and Scouting Ireland have just concluded a working together 'Project Incredible' bringing young people together from different communities in NI, thanks to funding from the Lisburn & Castlereagh PEACE IV Partnership. The project is supported by the European Union's PEACE IV Programme and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body under the theme of Shared Spaced and Services.

Twenty-four young people joined together for two evenings in October and one final residential weekend held at Newport from Friday 9th to Sunday 11th November 2018. Boys' Brigade Companies in Newmills and Culnady stayed overnight along with Co Antrim Scouting Ireland Groups from the Lisburn area; 9th Antrim based at St Patrick's Academy, Ballinderry Road and 23rd Antrim from Derriaghy.

During this final weekend of 'Project Incredible' there was a pause for remembrance on Sunday 11 November led by Paul Stewart from Newmills Boys' Brigade. This gave those unfamiliar with remembrance ceremonies an opportunity to learn more about it; and for the young people to share what remembrance meant to them both in the context of War Remembrance and personal remembrance. Other activities during the weekend included swimming, and bowling at Lisburn Leisure Park.

Throughout the weekend the groups engaged in discussions and group work around topics such as similarities and differences between them, identity, the community they live in and the organisations they are part of and their associated activities and traditions. They looked at the BB and Scout uniforms and what each item meant and why that was a part of the uniform. The BB boys shared a lesson on Squad Drill and the young people from Scouting Ireland shared skills on chopping wood - which came in handy for the camp-fire on Saturday night. At the end of the weekend all the participants received a hoodie to unite all in the same identity.

Cllr Jonathan Craig, Chairperson of the Lisburn and Castlereagh Peace IV Partnership, visited the Newport on Saturday 10th November to meet the young people involved along with the Mayor, Cllr Uel Mackin. Speaking about the project he said: "The Lisburn & Castlereagh PEACE IV Partnership is committed to ensuring that it offers support to local cross-community projects that work to bring young people from different cultures and communities together and breakdown any barriers there may be in understanding each other's heritage. 'Project Incredible' is just one example of a PEACE funded project."

Mark Feeney, 9th Antrim Scouts Leader said: 'After being a Scout Leader it is great to meet and learn from another organisation like The Boys' Brigade. It is just as good to pass on some of Scouting Ireland too!" This sentiment was echoed by BB Leader Paul Stewart from Newmills who added: "This has been a fantastic project. It has been great to discover the similarities in our youth organisations and great to share ideas."

Match-funding has been provided by the Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland.

PSNI Cyber Prevent Information Pack for Youth Leaders

30th Nov 2018

The PSNI has produced a Cyber Prevent Information Pack and is keen to share this with young people in NI. Could you take a look? Perhaps this is something you could incorporate into a programme topic for an evening or series of evenings.

Did you know... the average age of someone arrested for a cybercrime in the UK is just 17 years old?

Did you know...a conviction for a cyber offence may well impact upon an individual's ability to apply for many education or employment opportunities and to obtain credit - even a student loan?

Did you know...being arrested - not even convicted - for an offence will have an impact upon an individual's ability to visit certain countries? An arrest will mean that visa free entry into the USA will no longer be available. Australia and New Zealand may also refuse a visa.

The UK Government's National Security Strategy has recognised the cyber threat as one of four 'Tier One' risks to the UK's security. That's on a par with international terrorism. The cost of cybercrime to the UK is estimated to be £27bn per annum. It is not a victimless crime, it is individuals and small to medium businesses which are the backbone of Northern Ireland's industry that are attacked daily by those engaged in cyber criminality; the impact is often personally and financially catastrophic.

The PSNI would like to:
Increase knowledge of the Computer Misuse Act 1990
Increase knowledge of consequences due to involvement in cybercrime, including the growth of law enforcement capabilities.
Promote positive opportunities to develop and use cyber skills legally.

You can download the Cyber Prevent Information Pack here

First KGVI Week at Newport

31st Jul 2018

The first KGVI week took place at Newport from 21 - 27 July 2018 in glorious summer weather. It was a real privilege to have the young people at Newport bringing much laughter, fun and encouragement with them. We pray that this is the beginning of a long legacy at our Newport Training, Conference and Residential Centre.

KGVI (King George VI) is a 2 week residential youth leadership course specifically designed for those aged 17 to 21 years old in BB to equip them to lead any section in The Boys' Brigade. KGVI is a 2 week long residential experience with all that you need to become a leader in The Boys' Brigade. All participants cover the core and some additional modules of Youth Leader Training (basic training for all leaders in The Boys' Brigade). The KGVI programme is designed to give participants opportunity to gain some experience through leading sessions and share experiences with other participants. There is also free time to relax and socialise.

We congratulate all the 2018 KGVI Cadets; wishing the second year Cadets well as they depart fully trained BB Leaders and we look forward to seeing the first year Cadets back again a little older and wiser next July for their final year.
Throughout the week the Cadets got to fly drones, mix music, try their hand at archery, visit Windsor Park Stadium and the nearby Ulster Aviation Society, take on some water game challenges in the warm summer sun along with covering all the core modules of Youth Leader Training.
The week concluded with a celebration barbeque on Friday evening 27 JUly 2018 for family, friends and the Captains of the Cadets, followed by the formal presentation of certificates by the Mayor of Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council, Cllr Uel Mackin. The top Cadet award was jointly presented to Paul Moore and Ian Pinkerton.

Speaking about his first experience of a KGVI week David Penney BBNI Training and Programme Officer said:
'This has been a fantastic week with these fantastic young leaders. They are just incredible servants for God as they serve in Boys' Brigade! We have had a week full of friendship and memories. I finish this week knowing that BB is in very good hands. All I can say to anyone is invest, invest, invest in your young leaders. The course will be running next year from 20 - 26 July and we are already looking forward with great anticipation to see what God has in store for us'.

Have you a young person that would thrive doing their BB Youth Leadership training in this way? Please start the conversation now and show them the pictures. KGVI is for girls and boys and neither have to come up through the ranks of BB to take part. Many of the Boys progress from Queen's Badge but equally they can enter directly with little, limited or no previous BB experience.
Please click on the link below to view some of the pictures from the week.

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