Amicus was launched in 1994 by The Boys' Brigade as an alternative programme to meet the needs of Young People at a time where churches and youth organisations have struggled to retain teenage members.
Run as a pilot scheme and evaluated during the first part of 1997, Amicus proved to be a viable method enabling the church to retain the older teenagers it has and to offer an alternative to those yet to be reached.
Available to male and female on an equal basis between school year 9/10 (or equivalent) to 22 years.
Extended Age Range
Membership is available to male and female on an equal basis between school year 11 (or equivalent in other regions) to 25 years. Youth organisations such as The Boys' Brigade and The Girls' Brigade demonstrate very effective work with young people, in a single sex setting, up to the age of 25. Amicus enables churches to utilise the expertise of organisations such as these in a mixed gender setting over an extended age range at a time when many young people leave the church.
As part of the BB family, Amicus is unashamedly Christian, the Mission Statement states
The Boys' Brigade will care for and challenge young people for life through a programme of informal education underpinned by the Christian faith.
The programme provides for the Christian development of the members and attendance at church worship is encouraged.
Participation & Empowerment
All members have an equal opportunity to contribute to the running of the group. Amicus is less prescriptive than some of its counterparts and its members have a greater say in what happens and when. Groups determine their own programme which is structured, progressive and demanding.
Assisting young people to be involved in decision making is known as participation and empowerment:
Participation is a process of dialogue through which joint decisions are made by adults and young people together . . . and change occurs as a result.
Uniform is optional and it is up to the group themselves to decide whether to have any kind of uniform. Where groups have chosen to adopt a uniform it is informal in style displaying the approved Amicus logo as required.
Leaders are appointed by the local church on completion of Youth Leader Training, their role being to co-ordinate group activities and programme but not necessarily to deliver it.
Amicus groups operate under the authority of a leader in charge who will have undertaken the BB's Captain's Training scheme.
Leaders are appointed by the local church on completion of Youth Leader Training
Instructors/ helpers should complete Amicus training.
Amicus is offered as an additional resource or alternative available to church groups with or without existing Boys' Brigade or Girls' Brigade. The pilot scheme demonstrated that Amicus can complement existing youth work in a new and dynamic way.
The Process of Starting a Group
Before deciding to establish a group it is suggested that a consultative meeting be held where church leaders, potential group leaders, young people and parents may be invited to consult with a member of the Amicus central management team - the Amicus Support Group. This meeting is usually held at the church, is free of charge and without obligation.This is an ideal opportunity for interested parties to explore the Amicus concept and its potential within the existing youth work of the church.
Once it has been agreed to establish a group, Amicus Leader Training is provided by the Amicus Support Group and again this is carried out locally.
Amicus in Action
Check out these case studies to see how Amicus works in action:
Dagnall Street Amicus Group
53rd Manchester Amicus Group Trip to the Czech Republic
For more information about Amicus please contact The Boys' Brigade on 01442 231681 or e-mail BB UK HQ
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