What do Development Workers do?
Local development work
Local Development Workers are based in different parts of Britain, working with friends in a group of area meetings. They are available to individuals, local Quaker meetings, area meetings, and other Quaker groups. Their role is to make sure that Quaker communities are able to thrive. They support us to become the church we envisioned in Our Faith in the Future.
Local Development Workers offer support to Quaker communities in many ways including:
- listening, encouraging and reassuring
- connecting Friends with people and resources
- signposting to other BYM and Woodbrooke services
- facilitating sessions on a variety of themes
- helping to review existing activities or processes
- assisting with major projects.
The local development worker programme is funded, in part, by generous grants from Benefact Trust, Bader Philanthropies, and the Southall Trust, as well as through the contributions of Friends throughout Britain.
Youth development work
Youth Development Workers work with Quaker communities to initiate, facilitate and deliver a range of opportunities for Young Quakers. They work with local Friends to offer events and activities for children and young people to build community effectively. They help to promote participation among different age groups and empower Quaker communities to engage with and respond more readily to younger people?
Any Quaker can contact the Local or Youth Development Worker in their part of Britain, about anything related to being a Quaker. Workers may provide support themselves, offer other sources of information and help, or work with the wider team to respond in new ways.
Local or Youth Development Worker regions
We currently have Local Development Workers in the following parts of Britain:
Scotland - LDW-Scotland@quaker.org.uk
- East Scotland AM
- North Scotland AM
- South East Scotland AM
- West Scotland AM
Cumberland and the North East - LDW-NEastEng@quaker.org.uk
- Cumberland AM
- Northumbria AM
- Teesdale & Cleveland AM
- Wensleydale & Swaledale AM
- Brighouse West Yorkshire AM
- Central Yorkshire AM
- Craven & Keighley AM
- Leeds AM
- Pickering & Hull AM
- Sheffield & Balby AM
- York AM
North West England (North) - LDW-NWEng@quaker.org.uk
- Hardshaw & Mann AM
- Kendal & Sedbergh AM
- Lancashire Central & North AM
- Manchester & Warrington AM
- Pendle Hill AM
- Swarthmoor AM
Wales and Southern Marches - LDW-Wales@quaker.org.uk
- Mid Wales AM
- North Wales AM
- South Wales AM
- Southern Marches AM
West Midlands and North West (South) - LDW-WestMids@quaker.org.uk
- Central England AM
- East Cheshire AM
- Staffordshire AM
- Wirral and Chester AM
- Worcestershire & Shropshire AM
East Midlands - LDW-EastMids@quaker.org.uk
- Leicester AM
- Lincolnshire AM
- Notts & Derby AM
- Banbury & Evesham AM
- Chilterns AM
- Mid Thames AM
- Oxford & Swindon AM
Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Northamptonshire - LDW-SCentralEng@quaker.org.uk
- Hertford & Hitchin AM
- Luton & Leighton AM
- Northamptonshire AM
East Anglia - LDW-EastAnglia@quaker.org.uk
- Cambridgeshire AM
- Ipswich & Diss AM
- Mid-Essex AM
- Norfolk & Waveney AM
- Southern East Anglia AM
- Thaxted AM
South West England - LDW-SWEng@quaker.org.uk
- Cornwall AM
- Devon AM
- Bristol AM
- Gloucestershire AM
- Mid Somerset AM
- North Somerset AM
- West Somerset AM
- West Wiltshire & East Somerset AM
South Coast - LDW-SouthCoast@quaker.org.uk
- Bournemouth Coastal AM
- Dorset & South Wiltshire AM
- Hampshire & Islands AM
London - LDW-London@quaker.org.uk
- Kingston & Wandsworth AM
- London West AM
- North East Thames AM
- North London AM
- North West London AM
- South East London AM
- South London AM
Kent, Sussex & Surrey - LDW-SEEng@quaker.org.uk
- East Kent AM
- Surrey & Hampshire Border AM
- Sussex East AM
- Sussex West AM
- West Kent AM
- West Weald AM
Other roles in Quaker Life?
The local and youth development teams are supported by a group of staff who manage them and their work. They, and a small number of other Quaker Life staff, have a responsibility to deliver support to Quaker communities nationally in the following roles:
- Head of Supporting Quaker Communities
- Team Leader, Youth Children and Families
- Team Leader, Children and Youth Development Work
- Team Leader, Spiritual Nurture
- Team Leader, Quaker Community
- Team Leader, Witness and Collaboration
- Team Leader, LM and AM Governance
- QL Officer, Children Families and Young Adults
- QL Prison Chaplains Support Officer
- Property Management Adviser
- QL Support Development Officer
- QL Team Administrator
What other support is available?
Quaker Life offers particular support to young people, children and families in the heart of Quaker communities, to help them take part fully in the life of Quakers at local, regional and national levels. You can also find out about the Youth Development Worker scheme which is on offer to Quaker communities through Britain Yearly Meeting.
The wider Quaker Life team will ensure that a range of services is available on all aspects of being a Quaker meeting. Much of this work is done in partnership with Woodbrooke Learning. This includes:
- Networks of Friends who can support one another. This may be through e-mail groups, online meetings, newsletters, in-person gatherings, or offering tailored support from a Friend with relevant skills and experience.
- Resources to provide information and ideas. This includes leaflets, booklets, posters, sessions and study packs, Quaker Recognised Bodies (QRB) and specialist organisations.
- Events and activities that bring people together, provide fellowship and learning, explore areas of interest, and the chance to experiment. Training for Quaker role-holders is an important part of this work, led by Woodbrooke working closely with learning from local development work.
The wider team will include people with specialist skills and expertise in all aspects of being a thriving Quaker community. Some of this will be done with team members and some by working closely with skilled and experienced friends.
What is meeting-centred support?
Meeting-centred support is the joint response of Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM) and Woodbrooke trustees to today's challenges. It means working in new and different ways to help Quaker communities across the yearly meeting to thrive.
Quaker communities know best what support they need to help build the world described in Our Faith in the Future. And support from BYM and Woodbrooke works well when staff walk alongside Friends to offer help, ideas and challenge. By working together, BYM and Woodbrooke can make the best use of our shared resources and expertise.
There's an appetite amongst Friends to try new ways of doing things. The public health emergency has made that even stronger. The same questions that are being discussed beyond the Quaker community – questions about the right balance of resources between north and south, London and the rest of Britain, and between Britain's different nations – are important for national Quaker work too.
And at the same time, the number of Quakers overall is declining slowly, and meetings are getting smaller. For many meetings, the focus is on keeping going. They care about Quaker work in the world, but don't have as much time or energy to get involved as they'd like.
The Vibrancy in Meetings Pilot Programme, the Youth Worker Development Programme, Woodbrooke Where you Are and online learning, and specialist programmes on property, simpler meetings, mental health, and supporting young adults, have all shown the benefits of staff being personally known, and locally available.
BYM and Woodbrooke are responding by recruiting more Local Development Workers. These are staff based closer to where Quakers are, walking alongside them, connecting them to others, and facilitating their work.
We'd love to hear from you. Find out how to get in touch below.
The new Quakers in Britain Yorkshire Centre for staff of BYM and Woodbrooke
We opened the Quakers in Britain Yorkshire Centre in Leeds in May 2021. It is at 188A Woodhouse Lane, Leeds – a self-contained office suite attached to Carlton Hill Meeting House. This is a new location for some staff working for Britain Yearly Meeting and Woodbrooke. It's also a great venue for meetings and gatherings for Friends in that part of the country.
There are small and large rooms available in the office suite, and in the meeting spaces in the Meeting House. These have good tech for blended activities and are spacious for good social distancing.
Friends have said that work and support based in Woodbrooke and Friends House can feel a long way away. We are trialling this hub for staff outside London and Birmingham.
The hub aims to improve links between local Quaker communities and our yearly meeting-wide organisations. It will also provide more locally-based services to support Quakers. In time it may also become a home for other Quaker groups and projects.
It will also be a focus for bringing together the many staff who are now working from their homes, across the whole of Britain. Learning from the pandemic, we are now an organisation which can do many things online. This means that our staff team only need to come together occasionally. About 30 staff are now working from Glasgow to Totnes; from West Wales to Norwich. The Leeds hub will give us another place to enjoy seeing one another face to face – and for meeting with Quakers as well.