This page answers some questions for people thinking about joining us as team members. If you want to know what's on offer at LiveWires have a look at the About page.
What's the aim of LiveWires?
We aim to build a welcoming Christian COMMUNITY, so that the young people will be EQUIPPED beyond LiveWires. As a team we try to MODEL Christ in all that we do.
What might I get out of joining the team?
We asked the team what the best thing is about helping out at LiveWires. Here's a few of their answers:
getting to know more of the YP was awesome
being trained in how to lead a small group discussion and Bible study
the support and closeness of the team
praying with YP at Communion
getting to know the yp and being able to witness their journeys over the week
I learnt more about serving and myself through being challenged and stretched during the week
laughing a lot
I'm not a teacher, how can I teach a technical skill?
There aren't many school teachers on the LiveWires team, so you wouldn't be alone! You will normally be responsible for up to 3 or 4 young people at a time (that is, probably up to about 8 people in a group, with two team members). During their time in a technical group, the young people will normally attempt to complete a project of some kind, for example, write a computer game, produce a short video, or record a song in the recording studio. In electronics, the projects are pretty much pre-determined, and you need to help them follow the instructions supplied for their project. In the other groups, you may need to help the young people choose a suitable project, either individually or as a group. Some of the team members in past years have written work sheets which may help to suggest suitable projects, and other worksheets can be used to teach a particular skill (for example, the beginners programming course). If you already have skills in a particular area, this will normally decide the approximate area in which you will be asked to help, but we may need you to learn new or brush up on forgotten skills if more young people choose a project in a different area.
I've never really worked with young people before. What help will I get?
Around a month before Livewires starts, we have a planning weekend where training is given on a number of subjects, as well as having a chance to meet the rest of the team and plan for the activities that will be taking place. Some of the training is dedicated to new team and there are usually two or three team who take on the responsibility of making sure that the new team are well looked after. There is also training time immediately before the young people arrive. For every activity on the holiday team members are in pairs or larger groups, so you should never have to cope alone. Other members of the team are always happy to give advice, ideas, and share resources.
I'm only 17. Can I still help?
If you are under 18, you can come as a junior leader. No-one joins the team just because they've been on the holiday before; rather we see what sort of things people are doing, their current interests and skills, their church situation, and then all pray about it. However, junior leaders can't have as much responsibility as an over-18 year-old leader, in particular they can't be asked to take sole responsibility for a group of young people on the holiday but unlike some holidays, we treat junior leaders as full team in every other respect: they get to do the same as everyone else. Unlike over-18 team members, we don't have to run a check with the Disclosure and Barring Scheme (Criminal Records Bureau), but we might still take up references from your church leader, as well as another independent adult that knows you well.
Where does all the equipment come from?
Almost all of the technical equipment is provided by current or past team members, or their friends or colleagues. Many team members generously make their own computers available to the young people. The equipment is kept permanently in the classrooms of the school, with the young people having supervised access. Scripture Union has an insurance policy to cover the safety of equipment loaned to the holiday. Do talk to one of the co-leaders, or technical co-ordinators for more information on how to include equipment on this insurance if your domestic insurance does not cover such items when away from home.
Where do I sleep?
Since the holiday is based in a boarding school, most of the accommodation is dormitory based. Team members share dormitories with a few other team members. For obvious reasons, the young people all sleep in single sex dormitories. The school supplies beds to sleep on but you will need to bring your own pillows, pillowcases, sheets and duvet / sleeping bag.
What about food?
The main meals are breakfast, lunch and dinner, which we all eat together in the large dining room of the school. There is plenty of food, and it is delicious. Drinks and sometimes biscuits/cakes are served mid morning, mid afternoon and just before the young people go to bed. Team members are free to make drinks for themselves whenever they have the time, and there are additional late night snacks for anyone who feels hungry. If you still need more to eat, there is a tuck shop for team and young people to buy sweets during the mid morning break. If you have special dietary needs, these can be accommodated.
How are the "spiritual sessions" organised?
The morning (Engage), Evening Session (Explore) and party are holiday-wide activities, with all team and young people together. Team members and some young people may be asked to help with music, reading, testimony, prayers etc. Epilogues and Bible studies are held in dormitory groups which are defined largely by the young people's ages and any preferences expressed by them. The spiritual teaching sessions in the evenings are seminar style with a short talk as a discussion starter before breaking out into groups to chat through the topic of the day.
What would I be doing on a typical day?
To get a feel for a LiveWires day have a look at the timetable. It varies slightly from day to day, but normally starts for the team with a brief team meeting before breakfast. After breakfast (and the washing up, according to the dorm rota), there is a time of worship and Bible study all together. The first and second technical sessions fill the remainder of the morning, divided by a coffee break (and tuck shop). Lunch is followed by another technical session and tea. Then there is a period of free time (when the young people are shut out of the technical rooms, and do sports, swimming, crafts or other activities). The final tech session of the day is before dinner. This is followed by a team meeting, then the spiritual teaching. Evening drinks follow before the dormitory groups meet at the end of the young people's day. A rota of team members stay near the young people's dormitories to check that they do go to sleep, while other team members go to bed, prepare for activities later in the week, or relax together. As you can see, the day is quite long and intensive, and though there are small gaps in the day (for example, after meals if you are not due to be on washing up with your dorm) much of this time will be used to get to know the young people, prepare for activities later in the week, or perform odd jobs for which you may have volunteered.
Who is in charge? Who leads the team?
Steven Ackroyd and Roger Pickard are the overall leaders of the holiday, and answer to Scripture Union for all that goes on during the holiday. They share the work of planning the holiday with a small group of team members, known as the Planning Team. At the same time, other team members (some on the planning team, some not) are responsible for particular areas of the holiday, such as catering (known as Head Cook), technical streams, and other jobs which may vary from year to year as required.
How much time is involved throughout the year?
Starting in early July, there is the planning weekend which runs from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon. The holiday itself is eight days in mid August, then there is an optional YP reunion in late Autumn and an optional team reunion in the early spring. Of course, there is also time spent praying, keeping in touch with the YP, etc.
What costs are involved?
The cost for 2016 is £238, which is 90% of the YP fee. If you are at all concerned about the cost please do let us know as there are discounts and bursaries available.
Various terms and explanations
Some of the names below are used on LiveWires…
YP is the shorthand term often used to refer to the “young people”. Engage is the morning worship, prayer and dormitory group bible study. Within engage we split into dorms for Input where the dorm leaders help the young people in a bible study discussion, using notes written before the holiday. The Zone is the afternoon activities free time. This time may be used for sports, craft, technical demonstrations, talks, debates and discussions. Team members are needed to supervise sports and board games, host demonstrations or debates, or just to chat with or join in alongside the young people. Explore is the evening teaching which is more seminar style and looks at issues which impact the day to day lives of the YP. Epilogue is the late night dormitory group time. The two or three team members assigned to the dorm choose what to do in this time, which may vary from a chat about the events of the day (particularly with the younger ones) to a bible study or in depth discussion of an issue that the young people have raised.
How do I join?
You should get in touch with us in the first instance. SU have a thorough screening and application process for new team members: the holiday leaders will generally want to chat with you first, then you'll need to fill in an application form, provide references (one of whom will need to be your current church minister), and pass a Disclosure and Barring Scheme (DBS) check.
Want to know more about volunteering?
Have a look at the Scripture Union volunteering pages at countmein.