What if a pupil lives in a parish where there are limited opportunities to join activities and ministries?
It is hoped that this award would help young people to connect in their parishes, and we would encourage that award leaders might suggest ways to the parish that the young person could be involved, however if the parish is unsupportive for whatever reason, another 'away' base may be suggested. If necessary the 'away' base may be serving from the family home, and the service could be in support of neighbours in the local community. Also there may be charities, local or national, that would offer service opportunities to young people.
Which activities can be counted towards Faith in Action Activities?
Award Leaders are given discretion over what activities can be considered as service credits. It may be a useful question to ask 'who is being helped, inspired, encouraged by this action?' E.g. some creative activities including prayer writing or artwork may be considered a service if they are enhancing the lives of parishioners etc.
What about pupils who are active in their faith witness but who need additional support to report on what they have done / learned?
Reporting on what they have done/learned can be done in a number of ways to support a variety of needs – either photos or pictures may support the service action or reflection and these could be added into the young person's journal. The journal may simply be a scrap book that enables the young person to reflect on progress. Alternatively, everything could be recorded to a video done on a mobile phone, as long as these are available for sharing with the award leader.
How many reflection points are there?
There are four reflection points, however these can be done in a minimum of two occasions (covering two points on one half day retreat). Some award leaders may choose to cover a 90 minute reflection point over three half hour lunch time slots – this could be done by looking at God's story in one half hour, the Church's story in the second half hour, and my personal story in the third half hour. Registering for the award on this website gives award leaders access to more information about reflection points.
How long should a reflection point last?
The total of four reflection points last 360 minutes or 6 hours. The award suggests four 90 minute reflections, but there is some flexibility about how these are delivered. It is mandatory that the reflection points happen over a minimum of two occasions covering, one on each theme of love and service.
Who will co-ordinate the award?
Each participating organisation must have an Award Leader who will coordinate the local participation in the award and the delivery of reflection points; liaise with the Awarding Authority to agree on submission dates and celebration arrangements and the ordering of badges and certificates. The Awarding Authority will arrange moderation, order badges and certificates from CYMFed and create a diocesan/local timetable for submission of final pieces and a celebration.
How much support will young people need?
This will vary widely dependent on the needs of the young people and the level of award they are engaged in. At Pin Level it is expected that the young people will be led as a group by an adult, however we would expect at Silver and Gold level most young people would be self-motivated and be recognising opportunities to serve.
Can young people work in groups?
Yes, young people can work in groups. However, at Silver level, it would be expected that they should take on some level of leadership which may mean that an individual takes on leading different parts of a project. At Gold level, the innovation expected means that individually young people should be looking at what change they can bring about.
Does the final piece of work have to be an essay?
No, we encourage that the final piece of work represents their reflection and their journey – this may be a poem, a dance, a song, a piece of art. No written work should be more than two sides of A4, and if the final submission is not written then it should be filmed, put on a USB stick and sent in for moderation that way. Art work should be accompanied by a brief explanation. If work is being submitted in a certain way to support a young person's special needs, it would be good for the Award Leader to submit the piece with a short note to the moderator.
Will all young people enrolled gain the award?
All young people enrolled should be capable of gaining the award, but we also want the award to have credibility so it should have some challenge and drive. It is at the discretion of the Award Leader whether the young person has evidenced enough service credits and shown the qualities of Leadership/Development for Silver, and Innovation at Gold. If the individual has not attended ALL reflection points, journaled and submitted a final piece then they should not gain the award.
If a young person has missed one reflection point because of a legitimate reason, the Award Leader should discern whether they receive the award at this point, or whether they should attend the reflection points in the next year of running the award.