"Volunteering at Urban Saints allows me plenty of opportunity to practice the gift of helping others and I get so much enjoyment from it too"
Volunteers' Week takes place between 1st and 7th June each year and we wanted to take some time to celebrate and thank all our volunteers from across Urban Saints. We are nothing without the many volunteers who serve every week, across the UK and Ireland.
There are volunteers running local weekly Groups in different communities, creating life-changing experiences for young people as part of Camps teams, attending events, gathering supporters in prayer locally, offering consultancy and support for churches and individuals, giving time to serve on our Board and other committees and even playing their part in the behind-the-scenes admin of Urban Saints. We are so grateful to you all - you are what makes Urban Saints great! Thank you.
"For me, it's not volunteering, it is a calling...!" - Tony
As part of last year's Thanksgiving Service, we asked some of our wonderful local Group Leaders to share a bit about what it is like to volunteer with Urban Saints, why they started and what they get from the experience. The following video was just a few snippets of what they said... (and if you've seen this before you'll probably agree it is a worth watching again!)
Since then we also asked a whole load more of our volunteers - serving both locally and nationally and in a whole range of different ways - what it is like to be a volunteer with Urban Saints...
"Throughout my time as a young person in Urban Saints I have always imagined myself becoming a leader. I thought it would be a great opportunity to help others the way that I had been helped when I was younger, get to know the lads more and help them out on their journey as a Christian and their journey growing up. The opportunity it gives you and others around you is amazing, to grow in your skills as a volunteer, as well as knowing you're helping lots of young people to progress in their lives and their faith in God..."
“Before I volunteered with Urban Saints, it had been a while since I had had the opportunity to sit and interact and spend time with young people without rushing about ensuring the teaching was happening and everyone was ok. I came away refreshed and excited with a renewed sense of purpose in my ministry.”
"Being a volunteer on Urban Saints Camps has really changed the course of my life for the better - it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. It's a great opportunity to get to know other people and to get to know God. To learn what it's like to love Him and follow Him and to live life in all its fullness. Why would anyone want to miss out on all that?!"
"In my volunteer role, I am excited to be able to correspond with so many local people who love the Lord, and have a heart for young people in the area who are not currently walking through life with Jesus. I may not be leading a charge through the woods in a Westbrook wide game, but I am assured that in this role I am playing a part in a move of God to take ground back in this country for the sake of His Kingdom.”
"I volunteered primarily to enable young people with additional needs to have place they could go to if the excitement (of Spree) became too overwhelming. What I found was lots of young people, who may not may not have had additional needs, who needed that time out space just as much."
"I have always felt called to help grow Groups that introduce young people to Jesus within a supportive fellowship. A place where they know they belong and can soon start to serve and lead. Volunteering as a Trustee I play my part in helping align every decision and resource with this fundamental calling - to serve, train and enable our Leaders to share the Gospel message and to meaningfully disciple all who come to faith.”
“I have loved getting alongside churches as they seek to be more inclusive of those with additional needs... enabling belonging in all aspects of church life. This volunteer role enables me to work with a church as they move forward, I can visit and chat, offer suggestions and ideas and, if wanted, facilitate some training for the leaders, the youth and children’s teams or the whole church.”
“We very much feel that we are part of the Urban Saints family and we love the work they have done, and are continuing to do, with young people. We feel that serving in Studland, even though it is hundreds of miles away from our home in Lancashire, is where God wants us to be.”
Ian and Alison
Last summer, members of the Urban Saints staff team recorded a "thank you" video for all those who give their time to help Urban Saints and to make a lasting difference in the lives of young people. This still illustrates exactly how we feel about our volunteers and seems like an ideal place to end, this Volunteers' Week...