John has been engaged in Catholic Youth Ministry for over 30 years, beginning his career as a Volunteer at The Briars! At present he has responsibility for the whole youth service and is working with the Trustees in making new appointments. These posts will see the continuation of the great and valuable work of NDCYS both residentially and in its outreach.
If you come to the Briars on retreat, chances are that your retreat will be led by Ciara. She is primarily responsible for our residential youth ministry based at the Briars. Ciara keeps an eye on what we are providing for young people who come here on retreat and is responsible for ensuring that it is always the best experience possible.
Kayla is responsible for leading our outreach team; reach4. This outreach ministry has proved to be very successful and in demand. Kayla ensures that the outreach volunteers are trained, ready and prepared to go and work with parishes and schools all over the diocese. She then goes out and works with them in leading our work with young people on Confirmation programmes, school retreat days, youth group sessions, school missions, young people’s liturgy groups, chaplaincy teams and much more.
John Biggins, Ciara and Kayla make up the Leadership Team of the Youth Service. Each year this team is joined by our second year volunteers who also have leadership responsibilities. The team meets for a full morning once a month to discuss specific issues and frequently in-between to ensure that we work together well. We work in collaboration with the Trustees of the Youth Service to provide the best service possible for our young people, parishes and schools.
Bernie is our Bookings Secretary. She is in charge of making sure we get as many people using our services as possible. She is the person to speak to if you want to book a stay at The Briars.
Jill is our Finance Manager and is responsible for our budgets and for making sure everyone gets paid. Jill is another one of our team that you might speak to if you ring The Briars during the working week.
Angela is the Derby City Catholic Youth Worker and works with Derby city parishes supporting their Confirmation preparation, celebration and follow-up. Her job was created as a joint venture between the Derby city parishes and the Youth Service and has proved to be very successful. Angela is a Trustee of NDCYS. She works very closely with the rest of the Youth Service team and is a frequent visitor to The Briars. Reach4 has also worked closely with Angela on several Confirmation programmes and groups she works with have been on retreat to The Briars as part of their preparation.
Who to contact
John Biggins - Any general query about our work, for training, advice and guidance, resources, events and pilgrimages.
Bernie Walsh - Any question relating to bookings at The Briars and information on our fees and services.
Ciara Sholl – Any question relating to our residential retreat work in general, applying to be on the volunteer team.
Kayla Fitzgerald - Any question relating to the work of reach4 and if you want us to come out and work with you and your young people in your parish or school.