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All-round training for every volunteer youth worker.

A brand-new programme that gives confidence and skills to volunteers working with young people in churches and community projects.

"Totally brilliant. It's given me confidence as a volunteer and taught me so much about young people."

"This really is for everyone. I help out on Sunday mornings with the 11-14's and it's given me so much more confidence."

"I loved that I was learning new skills I could put straight into practice at our youth group, but that it also helped me think about why we do youth ministry in the first place."

Youthscape Essentials is an innovative new course for volunteer youth leaders that increases your skills and confidence about work alongside young people – whether that’s running a community project, church youth group, or helping out from time to time on a Sunday morning. You can join a group online or in-person at a venue near where you live. You can also register and train to deliver the course to others.

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Youthscape Essentials is ten sessions covering 30 topics. The topics are divided in Insights into Young People, Skills for Youth Work and Developing Character. You’ll listen to young people, learn from professionals, participate in practical exercises and take time to deepen your own faith. It makes no assumptions about your experience, age or background. It’s accessible to those starting out as volunteers, but deep enough to stretch those who have been working alongside young people for longer.


Ten short talks that explore what life is like for young people today. Listen to young people talk about their experience of family, school, church and social media. Hear expert insights, the latest research and inspiring stories.

What subjects will you cover?

Why youth ministry?

How does youth work make a difference to young people?


Adolescent development

How do young people grow and change as teenagers?


Growing up digital

How are social media and other technologies changing their world?


Growing Up Gen-Z

What different beliefs and values do young people have today?


Family life

What are the experiences of young people at home?


Christian discipleship

How do young people develop and grow in faith?


Sexuality & gender

How do young people express and explore sexuality and gender?


School life

What are the experiences of young people in education?


Emotional & physical health

What impacts young people's well-being?


Mission & exploring faith

How do young people explore and understand Christian faith?


Ten key skills that are essential for every volunteer, whatever your role. Practical and applicable to every kind of youth activity. Learn new skills and deepen existing ones. Grow in confidence about what you can do.

What skills will you learn?

Building rapport with young people

How do I develop positive relationships with young people?


Engaging young people with the Bible

How do help young people explore and understand the Bible?


Safeguarding and safety

How can I act responsibly and safely with young people?


Empowering young people to participate

How can I involve young people in the life of the church?


Working with others as a team

How do I work well with others in youth work?


Facilitating a session with young people

How do I prepare and lead a youth group activity?


Accommodating young people’s different needs

How do I ensure we are open and accessible to all young people?


Managing behaviour

How do I deal with disruption and other challenges?


Telling stories that capture interest

How do I tell stories that capture interest and spark curiosity?


Knowing you’re making a difference

How do I ensure the work I’m doing is making an impact?


Ten personal reflections to strengthen your own faith as the foundation of your volunteering. Be encouraged as you discover how God will work in you and through you. Explore a Biblical understanding of character and service.

What topics will I explore?


What does it look like to really love a community of young people?



What does it look like to learn from my mistakes, young people and others around me?



How do I stay open to innovation when facing the ever-changing needs of young people?



What boundaries do I need to keep for my own sake and the sake of the young people I work with?



How can I demonstrate forgiveness and grace to young people and others?



How can I show integrity in youth ministry?



How can I keep going when I face challenges?



What does it look like to believe God is and can work through me?



How do I see the possibilities and potential in young people?



How can I overcome fear and self-doubt in youth ministry?

Take the course online

You can sign up to join an online group run by our team at Youthscape on Zoom once a week over ten consecutive weeks. We offer these three times a year in January, May and September. You’ll get the 100-page course book sent to you in the post. Places are limited. The cost is £35 including the course book. If you have a question or want to know more, email us. If you're ready to sign up, complete this form and you'll be directed through to make your payment.

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Next available course starts:
26 Jan 2022 (Wednesday evenings, 7:30pm)

Take the course in person.

Courses will be run around the UK as we train more facilitators. In-person courses are our preferred way of learning because they allow you to meet other youth leaders informally and can be more interactive. The cost for courses hosted by Youthscape is £45 including the 100-page course book. Covid-19 has inevitably slowed the launch of these courses so please be patient as we expand as rapidly as possible. It’s likely that a comprehensive range of in-person courses will not be available until 2022.

Deliver the course.

You may be able to train to deliver Youthscape Essentials to others in your area, church or denomination. Facilitators must meet our basic criteria and attend an in-person or online training day before being licensed to access and use the materials.

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Next training starts:
19 Jan 2022 ()
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Why Youthscape Essentials?

The church has a rich history of youth groups and projects for the benefit of tens of thousands of young people across the UK. Most of those are run by volunteers who give up their time in evenings and over weekends to make those youth activities possible. But so much has changed in youth culture and experience that up-to-date training is essential. That’s why we’ve developed Youthscape Essentials. Over the last three years a team of youth ministry practitioners, young people and existing youth work volunteers have created and tested a completely new approach to training. Built around the three key themes of insights, skills and faith, there are thirty key topics that together cover almost every aspect of volunteering. Step-by-step you’ll grow in your capacity and confidence to work alongside young people. And as our world continues to change, the course will change too – keeping you up-to-date and equipped as a volunteer.

“I have attended several training courses over the years, but I have never been to one that not only provides practical steps, but also looks at different insights as well as reflecting on our practice too. I have learnt so much.”


“The teaching is so clear, with a great level of detail”

Julia, Hamphire

“It will give you confidence in working with young people”


“Having done the course, we feel much more confident to take a lead”

Rosie & Jonathan, Volunteer Youth Workers, Woodbridge


Who is Youthscape Essentials for?

Quite simply, anyone working with young people or just considering it. We’ve designed the course for volunteers starting out in youth ministry but there is enough depth of thinking throughout to stretch even experienced volunteers.

What if I can’t make every session?

The course builds week-by-week so if you’re going to miss a few sessions it may be better to wait until you have more time but if it’s just an odd session then we can help you to catch up.

I want to take part but can’t afford it, can you help?

We want everyone to be able to take the course that wants to. We offer group discounts and a limited number of bursaries so please do get in touch for a chat.

Can you run a course just for my team or organisation?

We’re happy to discuss bespoke training for your setting so do give us a call. It may be that we know others in your area who are interested in joining or we tailor how we deliver the content for you. Let’s talk.

What do I get from it?

As well as the latest thinking on issues shaping young people’s lives, practical skills training that will equip you to better serve young people and theological reflection on leading from a place of love, we’ll give you a 100-page handbook packed with information and exercises. And if that’s not enough we offer a certificate of attendance too!

Can I run the course myself for my church or local area?

Yes, you can register for one of our 'Train the Trainer' sessions if you have the experience and confidence to lead Youthscape Essentials yourself. It's a one-day course which, once completed, gives you a licence to run the course and access to all the materials. Registration details and costs will be released soon and the first courses will take place in Autumn 2020 so check back here for details.

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