Working with children and young people is a very rewarding experience from which Helpers gain a great deal of enjoyment and satisfaction. Though Helpers do not normally take on the same responsibilities as a Boys’ Brigade Officer they make an important contribution to the work of the Company. Without Helpers, many Companies would have difficulty in providing a varied and interesting programme of activities for the children and young people. Helpers work alongside BB Officers and assist in running activities, taking activities, or providing additional adult help for the children and young people.
Criminal Records Check
Everyone working with children/young people is required to undergo an Enhanced Disclosure through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). The check will be carrried out by the Boys’ Brigade or Church and as it involves voluntary work the check is free of charge. Until this is completed, all contact with young people will be supervised.
Working in the BB
Most BB companies have four sections based on young peoples’ ages. These are Anchor Boys (age 5 to 8), Junior Section (age 8 to 12), Company Section (age 11-15) and Senior Section (age 15+). Members are encouraged to participate in a wide range of activities appropriate to their age. A Helper may work in one or more of these sections.
The weekly meeting will last between 60 and 90 minutes. Usually Anchor Boys meet for 60 minutes, Junior Sections for 75 minutes and the older age groups for about 90 minutes.
The Anchors and Juniors have similar activities. So for Helpers, typical tasks are helping boys with craft work, quizzes and puzzles, telling stories and helping with games. Those who become more experienced and confident may have the opportunity to prepare these activities themselves. There are Programme Resource Packs for both Anchors and Juniors which provide plenty of ideas and information.
Helpers in the older age groups are sometimes recruited as ‘Instructors’ because they have a special skill or knowledge which the leaders do not have. Cycle maintenance, electronics, cooking and photography are just a few examples of the topics which instructors might teach. Teaching sessions last for about 30 minutes and run for a period of 4 to 6 weeks. However, there are other jobs, such as running the tuck shop, collecting subs which helpers may be asked to do.
All helpers are provided with training in health and safety, including child protection issues. The training is usually provided on a local basis at a time convienient to the helpers.