Spring 2024
Jonathan Eales

Chief Executive


It is said that time flies when you’re having fun. There is also a saying that time passes more quickly the older you get! This past year has certainly flown by, maybe it’s simply because there has been so much going on. 

In October, we celebrated our 140th birthday, an incredible achievement. Through periods of significant social change, including two world wars and two pandemics, The Boys’ Brigade has been a constant, providing generations of children and young people a safe space, opportunities to learn new skills, and the encouragement to live “life to the full”. 

It has been great to see the creative ways Companies have marked this important anniversary, from sleepovers for Juniors in a range of locations, including Nottingham Castle and the Science Centre in Glasow, to Anchors creating “140” in such imaginative ways. It was also fantastic to see over 800 young people participate in the Monopoly Challenge.             

The organisation hasn’t reached this milestone by chance, but through the dedication and resilience of tens of thousands of volunteer leaders over the years, committed to supporting children and young people in communities across the country.  

As well as giving thanks and celebrating all that has been achieved, it is vital that significant anniversaries are as much about looking forward as looking back.

Our current strategy to improve the quality of experience for children and young people is all about looking forward, and equipping leaders to support the changing needs of young people. 

Working in partnership with Youthscape we launched our Youth Culture and Trends report at a reception in Parliament hosted by the Speaker, the Rt Hon Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP, to mark our 140th anniversary. I encourage you to read more about the report on page 11. We will be holding webinars in the New Year to support leaders to explore the findings of the research, and how to respond to the needs of children and young people in their own group.

As a Christian youth organisation, working in partnership with Churches from a range of denominations in mission and outreach in local communities, sharing the love of Jesus is what we do. 

We will be doing this in a variety of ways, including through a new initiative we are calling Spaces which has been made possible through the DCMS funding, and will complement our existing model in equipping and supporting an increasing number of Churches to share the Christian Faith with young people. You can find out more about this in on page 12.

Thank you for all you are doing to serve children and young people through your local Church community.

With every blessing for Christmas and the New Year.