As youth and children's groups slowly open up post-lockdown, we are adjusting to a different landscape where supporting young people and focusing on their overall well-being is right at the heart of what we need to do.
Leaders are finding that just being with the young people and enjoying simple activities together is a real tonic after months of lockdown and the chaos and uncertainty that is still prevalent due to the ongoing pandemic. There may never have been a greater need for children and young people to have safe and welcoming places where they can meet with their friends again and be supported by caring adults as they deal with life post-COVID.
To be best placed to meet this need, during spring 2021 we brought together all the different types of Group we have supported to create a new community, simply called Urban Saints' Groups. All carry the DNA that can be traced back to our Crusader roots, which seeks to reach young people – especially those who are disengaged from the church – recognising that relationships are more important than programmes as we walk alongside them on their faith journeys.
Urban Saints' Groups will be the foundation for a growing movement of like-minded volunteer leadership teams across the UK, all with the same vision and passion to reach children and young people in their communities with the love of God, all sharing similar 'distinctives' that make them recognisably part of the same community and all benefiting from an unrivalled package of support from Urban Saints.
Our prayerful hope is that in the next few years this community will grow into a network of hundreds of Groups, making a real difference to the lives of tens of thousands of young people from across the UK and Ireland.
Sign in to the Leaders' Area for access to the online 'Good Practice Guide', COVID-19 advice on starting face-to-face meetings, and all the other resources that support teams running our Groups across the UK and Ireland: