Rachel Donaldson-Leigh - one of the leaders at a new youth project in Lichfield, trained and supported by Urban Saints

From first thoughts to fruition

29th Apr 2021

As we start to see Groups coming back together to meet face to face again, we're excited to see more new Urban Saints Groups planted and started over the next few months. A key part of planting a new Group in a community is training the volunteer leaders who feel called to be involved.

We take each of our Urban Saints teams through our 'Initial Training', covering everything from vision to best practice. It ensures that each Group has a strong foundation to build upon and that every leader understands what to expect and feels supported in their mission. We wanted to find out what it is like to go through this training and so we spoke to one of the leaders who began the process before lockdown...

"Our group - Ignite Friday Youth - was set up as a safe place for secondary school aged young people to come to relax, socialise and have fun. We wanted to get to know them and the issues that they faced and give them space to just be, in a non-judgemental environment. It's based in our church building and we decided to become affiliated with Urban Saints.
The support from Urban Saints has been brilliant. I can’t recommend it enough. They walk with you every step of the way. They even helped us to shape our initial ideas - which lacked any real structure - into something that the team all agrees on. They are there to support you in every aspect and that gave me confidence that all of the policies and procedures around running a youth club would be done for us and we’d be able to access help and support should we need it.

Urban Saints take you from that initial thought all the way through to fruition. The training includes lots of discussion about the detail and plenty of scenarios to work through to prompt conversation and tease out ideas from your volunteer team. It’s all tailored around what you can deliver in your community within your capabilities and with the resources and volunteers that you have.
We were part way through training when Covid hit and that has slowed down our progress with groups not being able to meet face to face. However, I would have no hesitation in recommending anyone to become an Urban Saints Group – you will be supported every step of the way. They have chocolate* too – that’s always a winner! And lots of great advice and ideas, backed by a national team of experienced youth workers. Get involved - you won't regret it!"

Rachel Donaldson-Leigh, Ignite Friday Youth (Lichfield)

*We can't guarantee there will always be chocolate available... but we do find it helps!

Are you interested in starting a new Group in your community? We'd love to hear from you and we can help support you through the process - do get in touch to begin the conversation:

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