The 2018 Regional Youth Programme aims to:

  • Create an opportunity for participants to be challenged, encouraged and inspired by meeting with other young people
  • Introduce the breadth of mission through learning and participation
  • Explore issues relating to mental health amongst young people
  • Engage participants with the realities of migration and the asylum process
  • Learn through engagement with local communities, churches, community groups etc.
  • Introduce the young people to CWM and volunteering opportunities
  • Give opportunities for personal, faith and leadership development
  • Encourage participants to share their experiences on return to inspire and encourage others


The two major points of focus for the 2018 Regional Youth Programme are migration and asylum seeking, and mental health issues amongst young people.

The programme will engage with these two themes in two parts on different dates and in different locations.

“Beyond myself in exploring migration…” 27 July – 4 August 2018

Young people from member churches in the CWM European Region spent a week in August living together in a bunk house near Ingleton, North Yorkshire where they explored issues and experiences of migration to the Europe.  Working with the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust and Darwen Drop-In Asylum/Refugee Enterprise, CWM hosted an opportunity for young people to work alongside a group of asylum seekers and refugees from Darwen and Blackburn in a variety of rural and conservation activities in the North Yorkshire dales.

The Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust is a charity based in North Yorkshire which works to look after the rural landscape, support rural communities and encourage access by visitors.  The “People and the Dales” project provides opportunities for disadvantaged people from urban areas to experience and access the Yorkshire Dales.  Judy Rogers from Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust – and a church member of Skipton United Reformed Church – leads the People and the Dales project.  She developed a programme of countryside and conservation activities for the week which included hay bale making, willow weaving, dry stone wall building, path making in a red squirrel sanctuary, walking one of the “three peaks,” each activity was an opportunity for young people and asylum seekers or refugees to engage and learn together.  Judy said, “This joint initiative enabled the young to meet asylum seekers and share activities together, whilst for members of DARE it added a lively, fun way of sharing and learning about life in the UK.”

“DARE” Darwen Asylum Refugee Enterprise is based at Darwen Central United Reformed Church and is part of the churches mission for the community and offers a drop-in with English language classes, advice and companionship to people who are dispersed to Darwen in Lancashire.

John East, DARE Co-ordinator and Central’s Church Secretary and the other volunteer workers appreciate the opportunities to be in the Yorkshire Dales but more importantly John says “The links created in the Dales over the years has changed attitudes of the local population. The clients begin to understand the peace, safety and tranquillity to be had meeting and working with local people.“

Working in partnership with CWM gives these young people the opportunity to discern for themselves the issues surrounding asylum and refugees and the effects on people from conflict areas.  One of our many partnership friends in the Dales once said ‘Through this type projects we may have seen a glimpse of heaven.’

Learning each other’s country dances, sharing each other’s food and cuisine all enriched the experience of simply living together as a group of people.  We all have experiences of migration from one place to another for university or work.  But other people’s migration is to escape conflict, to flee persecution or find a better life.  The young people met asylum seekers and refugees and encountered real people and their stories, rather that the caricature of asylum seekers and refugees as portrayed by the media.  We were all challenged to “go beyond themselves” and to return to our home, university and workplaces and make them more welcoming and hospitable for others.

Below is a clip created by Syan Bateman, a youth programme participant.

“Beyond myself in exploring mental health…” 12 – 14 October  & 11 – 13 January 2019

‘Beyond myself in exploring mental health’ is an opportunity for up to 15 young people (3 per member church) to explore issues relating to mental health amongst young people, which is an increasing issue within the European context.

The programme will consist of two separate residential weekends.

The first weekend will focus on training and equipping participants and supporting them in developing skills to become peer supporters. The weekend will include advice on how to look after their own mental health, exploration of the Bible and personal wellbeing, understanding pressures young people experience, peer support, listening skills as well as signs and types of mental ill-health etc.

Space will be given to the participants to develop a proposal to take back to their communities (churches, youth clubs, colleges etc.) and deliver together.

The second weekend will be an opportunity for participants to share how their proposals went, what they learnt and how they will further develop their projects.

If you are interested in being a part of our Regional Youth Programme, please speak to someone at your member church.