Restarting and supporting Groups

9th Sep 2021

With the summer now behind us, thoughts now turn to Urban Saints Groups. We're really excited about the upcoming term and the opportunity for Groups to meet together face-to-face.

Most Groups have some sort of Autumn relaunch each year but we're very aware that for many Groups, Covid-19 restrictions have meant that they are effectively having to relaunch from scratch. This requires careful planning and wise choices and has the potential to cause great uncertainty for Leaders and Group members alike. The Urban Saints team are focusing heavily on providing all possible support for Urban Saints' local weekly Groups as they restart or continue into the new academic year.

Every Urban Saints Group should now have received a special delivery from the Support Centre. The Group Packs include a whole range of items to help teams continue or restart their weekly Group - including a personalised ring binder of resources. It also contains a Volunteer Pack for every Group Leader and volunteer, containing an ID card and some goodies as a thank-you for their hard work and dedication.

Also this month, we're launching a new Training Programme to develop the teenagers and young adults in Urban Saints Groups across the UK and Ireland. 

The Trainee and Group Helper Training Programme is part of the Emerging Leaders resources available through Urban Saints - an inspiring range of new initiatives to give young people a real voice in our growing community.

It's a one-year programme specifically written for teenagers aged 14-17 and Group Helpers aged 18 to early 20's in Urban Saints' Groups. Participants will be supported by an experienced leader, participants help at their Group whilst working through a course book containing lots of practical tasks and challenges. It's the perfect FREE resource for hard-pressed Main Leaders who would like help to train the teenagers and young adults in their Urban Saints Group. You can find out more about The Trainee and Group Helper Training Programme here.

Our team of local Impact Team Leaders are exploring different ways to offer more personalised support for Groups at this critical stage of the pandemic. This includes regular organised Zoom calls for Leaders and volunteers across a region or nation as well as more specific help such as refresher training sessions for Group leadership teams. We're also excited to confirm that the team of Impact Team Leaders is growing, with Sam Daniel joining the team in North London to support Groups and grow the mission where the organisation began in the 1900s. You can read more about Sam and the new role here.

As always we continue to offer our wide range of Energize resources to help Groups make the transition back into face-to-face gatherings. There is new series being launched this autumn exploring the theme of identity and other series being expanded to include more age groups too. To find out more - or to try Energize yourself free for 30 days - visit the Energize website.

Mark Arnold also continues to offer his full range of additional needs training this autumn. The online sessions have proved very popular throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and Mark is also looking into returning to face-to-face training and consultation opportunities too. To see the full range of training available, visit the Events section of the website.

This is an exciting season for Urban Saints and many will be relieved to see Groups getting back to meeting together face-to-face. However, we know that it is going to be far from easy and we need everyone to keep praying for the Groups and their teams of volunteers. We'd also love to more Urban Saints Groups planted and more communities impacted. If you want to know more about how you can help to see this become a reality, you can find out more by clicking on 'Join The Movement' in the menu at the top of the website (or on one of the following):