Introducing the Brigade to new Members

 

 We have been operating in Heyside since 1968 when the lads company was formed, followed in 1971 by the formation of the girls company.  These two organisations amalgamated in 1978 to form the present company.  We are one of three companies that make up the Oldham Battalion of the Brigade, which in turn is one of five battalions that make up the Manchester Regiment.  Our members can compete in many competitions, progressing through from Battalion, to Regimental and on to National level to compete against the best in the country.

 

The Brigade is a uniformed youth organisation within the Church of England whose object is to "Extend the Kingdom of Christ among young people" and we inform parents that the religious instruction part of our work will be Christian in line with the Church of England.   We try, through a wide variety of activities, to encourage the progressive development of our young people in moral, physical and spiritual terms, directing this towards leadership training from around 16 years old.  Each of our sections is supervised by a trained, commissioned Officer.  All our leaders and helpers have been vetted as part of the Protection of Children legislation.  Throughout their time with us, all sections participate in their own badge scheme, which is both extensive and testing, allowing all abilities to achieve their full potential.  From the age of 14, senior members have the opportunity to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme alongside the Brigade's badge scheme.  The ultimate award in the Brigade being the Archbishops Badge.

 

Being a uniformed organisation we ask all our members to purchase a uniform as soon as they have decided that they, and their parents, are prepared to make that commitment.  Our uniforms are subsidised by National Headquarters, but even so we realise they can be expensive for some families.  Bearing that in mind we always try to supply second hand uniforms when we have them available unless parents specifically request new uniform to be ordered.  Enclosed you will find an order form.   We also operate an exchange system, whereby an allowance will be made when uniform is returned.  The uniform for all sections includes plain black shoes and while we cannot insist that everyone buys them, they do look smarter, most members have them for school and they are compulsory for band members.  Brigade will supply a sweatshirt for weekly meeting nights but uniform will still be worn on parade nights and ALL parades.

 

We expect all our members to be regular in their attendance at their section night and in paying their weekly subscriptions.  Subs are one way in which we raise money to pay for the various activities we run and are set at reasonable levels considering the variety of programme we provide.  Our Subscriptions for the various sections are:

 

    Martins       70p              

    Yteam        80p       (All subscriptions are due every week that Brigade  )

    J T C          90p       (meets regardless of whether members attend or not.)

    Seniors     £1                  

 

Other money that we need to run the company, i.e. to buy equipment, transport to events, paying our fees to HQ for insurance etc. was raised by many fund raising events throughout the year such as jumble sales and sponsored events.  Our Bonus Ball club now funds most of our needs and is open to everyone.  We rely on your support for these to provide us with the funds to carry on our work.  We can also claim back the tax you’ve paid on subscriptions if you sign up to gift aid.

 

We encourage our members to attend our monthly parade service in Church where you are always welcome to join us.  The company parades after Church (weather permitting) on the second Sunday of the month and during the week before parade all our sections meet in uniform.   The Brigade enjoys close links with the Church Family and we encourage our members on the other Sundays to join the other children in Sunday school, which starts at 9:50, and they join us in Church during the service.   We also take part in other services during the year, namely the Oldham Battalion Parade and the Manchester Regimental Parade at Manchester Cathedral.  Notes and newsletters are sent home to keep you informed of all such events.  Martins’ members can have sweatshirt and cap as an alternative to full uniform if parents wish.  They cannot go on parade until they move up to the Yteam, although they do join us in church.

 

We have our own Company Band who lead us on our parades and it is open to any member who can, or wishes to learn to play a musical instrument.  It is a military type band with drums, bugles, glockenspiels, brass and woodwind, with opportunities for all committed members to try to gain entry into the Brigades National Band.

 


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