Helping at LiveWires

This page answers some questions for people thinking about joining us as team members. If you want to know what’s on offer at LiveWires have a look at the homepage.

What’s the aim of LiveWires?

What might I get out of joining the team?

We asked the team what the best thing is about helping out at LiveWires. Here’s a few of their answers:

Getting to know more of the YP was awesome

Being trained in how to lead a small group discussion and Bible study

The support and closeness of the team

Praying with YP at Communion

Getting to know the YP and being able to witness their journeys over the week

I learnt more about serving and myself through being challenged and stretched during the week

Laughing a lot

I’m not a teacher, how can I teach a technical skill?

There aren’t many school teachers on the LiveWires team, so you wouldn’t be alone! You will normally be responsible for up to 3 or 4 young people at a time (that is, probably up to about 8 people in a group, with two team members). During their time in a technical group, the young people will normally attempt to complete a project of some kind, for example, write a computer game, produce a short video, or record a song in the recording studio.

In electronics, the projects are pretty much pre-determined, and you need to help them follow the instructions supplied for their project. In the other groups, you may need to help the young people choose a suitable project, either individually or as a group.

Some of the team members in past years have written work sheets which may help to suggest suitable projects, and other worksheets can be used to teach a particular skill (for example, the beginners programming course).

If you already have skills in a particular area, this will normally decide the approximate area in which you will be asked to help, but we may need you to learn new or brush up on forgotten skills if more young people choose a project in a different area.

I’ve never really worked with young people before. What help will I get?

Around a month before Livewires starts, we have a planning weekend where training is given on a number of subjects, as well as having a chance to meet the rest of the team and plan for the activities that will be taking place.

Some of the training is dedicated to new team and there are usually two or three team who take on the responsibility of making sure that the new team are well looked after. There is also training time immediately before the young people arrive.

For every activity on the holiday team members are in pairs or larger groups, so you should never have to cope alone. Other members of the team are always happy to give advice, ideas, and share resources.

I’m only 18 and still at school. Can I still help?

Of course! No-one joins the team just because they’ve been on the holiday before; rather we see what sort of things people are doing, their current interests and skills, their church situation, and then all pray about it.

We make sure that you’re leading the younger kids on the camp, to help you into a leadership role. But you get just at much responsibility as any other leader: you’ll be full team in every respect and you get to do the same as everyone else.

We also aim to provide some training and teaching to help you learn what leadership in a Christ-like manner looks like.

Where does all the equipment come from?

Almost all of the technical equipment is provided by current or past team members, or their friends, colleagues or workplaces. Many team members generously make their own equipment available to the young people. The equipment is kept permanently in the classrooms of the school, with the young people having supervised access.

Scripture Union has an insurance policy to cover the safety of equipment loaned to the holiday. Do talk to one of the co-leaders or technical co-ordinators for more information on how to include equipment on this insurance if your domestic insurance does not cover such items when away from home.

Where do I sleep?

Since the holiday is based in a boarding school, most of the accommodation is dormitory based. Team members share dormitories with a few other team members. For obvious reasons, the young people all sleep in single sex dormitories. The school supplies beds to sleep on but you will need to bring your own pillows, pillowcases, sheets and duvet / sleeping bag.

What about food?

The main meals are breakfast, lunch and dinner, which we all eat together in the large dining room of the school. There is plenty of food, and it is delicious. Drinks and sometimes biscuits/cakes are served mid morning, mid afternoon and just before the young people go to bed.

Team members are free to make drinks for themselves whenever they have the time, and there are additional late night snacks for anyone who feels hungry. If you still need more to eat, there is a tuck shop for team and young people to buy sweets during the mid morning break. If you have special dietary needs, these can be accommodated.

How are the “spiritual sessions” organised?

The morning and evening sessions are holiday-wide activities, with all team and young people together. Team members and some young people may be asked to help with music, reading, testimony, prayers etc.

Epilogues are held in dormitory groups which are defined largely by the young people’s ages and any preferences expressed by them. The spiritual teaching sessions in the evenings are primarily run in a small-group style, with collective worship at the end.

What would I be doing on a typical day?

To get a feel for a LiveWires day have a look at the timetable. It varies slightly from day to day, but normally starts for the team with a brief team meeting before breakfast.

After breakfast (and the washing up!), there is a time of worship and Bible study all together. The first and second technical sessions fill the remainder of the morning, divided by a coffee break (and tuck shop).

Lunch is followed by another technical session and then a team meeting. Then there is a period of free time (when the young people are shut out of the technical rooms, and do sports, swimming, crafts or other activities).

Dinner is followed by the small group sessions. Then it’s evening drinks before the dormitory groups meet at the end of the young people’s day. A rota of team members stay near the young people’s dormitories to check that they do go to sleep, while other team members go to bed, prepare for activities later in the week, or relax together.

As you can see, the day is quite long and intensive, and though there are small gaps in the day (for example, after meals if you are not due to be on washing up with your dorm) much of this time will be used to get to know the young people, prepare for activities later in the week, or perform odd jobs for which you may have volunteered.

Who is in charge? Who leads the team?

Joel Fergusson and Roger Pickard are the overall leaders of the holiday, and answer to Scripture Union for all that goes on during the holiday. They share the work of planning the holiday with a small group of team members, known as the Planning Team.

At the same time, other team members (some on the planning team, some not) are responsible for particular areas of the holiday, such as catering (known as Head Cook), technical streams, and other jobs which may vary from year to year as required.

How much time is involved throughout the year?

Starting in early July, there is the planning weekend which runs from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon. The holiday itself is eight days in mid August, then there optional reunions for YP and team throughout the year. Of course, there is also time spent praying, keeping in touch with the YP, etc.

What costs are involved?

To keep the cost reasonable for the guests, we ask the team to contribute their food and board costs. For 2024 the cost will be £329, but please don’t let this get in the way of helping out. There are discounts and bursaries available, so get in touch with the co-leaders to find out more.

Various terms and explanations

Some of the names below are used on LiveWires…

How do I join?

You should get in touch with us in the first instance. SU have a thorough screening and application process for new team members: the holiday leaders will generally want to chat with you first, then you’ll need to fill in an application form, provide references (one of whom will need to be your current church minister), and pass a Disclosure and Barring Scheme (DBS) check. You can contact the co-leaders at

Want to know more about volunteering?

Have a look at the Scripture Union volunteering pages