First of all, what is the SERVE Team?
At Tees Valley Youth for Christ, some of our SERVE Team members have come straight from high school, but the majority have either finished university, or are taking a break, or ‘gap year’ to serve with us. Some of them are still waiting on God to reveal His long-term plans for their life, but others have a clear calling to ministry and are serving with us to grow as leaders. The majority of our volunteers are single, but we do have a few married couples who have decided to spend their early years of marriage working with us.
Joining Tees Valley Youth for Christ’s SERVE Team means dedicating a year of your life to serving God through ministry to young people, both in the local church and outside of it. We are praying that individuals or couples will join us who have a desire to seek God first in their lives, and who have a heart for seeing young people’s lives changed by Jesus.
What would the SERVE Team look like for me?
To start with, we will place you with a host church for the year.
We spend a lot of time prayerfully considering where to place each volunteer worker. We think through personality, gifts, experience, age/gender, the needs and work of the host churches, and the overall dynamics of each team.
You will also be a part of a Tees Valley Youth for Christ team based in the town where your host church is located.
This is made up of other volunteer youth workers placed with other churches in that town, and typically a Tees Valley Youth for Christ staff member. As a team, you will go into schools and the community together and also help run events like Cafe Church.
At your church, you will help to lead the youth and children’s groups and any outreach work they might do.
There will most likely be a youth worker at the church who you will be working alongside, but in some cases the church brings in a SERVE Team member to be their youth worker. We tend to place older volunteers with experience in these types of roles.
Your church will also provide a host family for you to live with for the year.
They will be an additional support system for you to help you through the year and allow you to experience living with a British family. There are also a couple of shared houses where SERVE Team members live together, but the majority of our volunteers are living with hosts.
You’ll meet with the whole Tees Valley Youth for Christ team on Monday mornings for worship, prayer, and teaching.
One of our greatest strengths as an organisation is the amazing community of staff, volunteers, and other local youth workers who support and encourage each other as we walk this path of ministry in the Tees Valley together. You’ll also meet regularly with a church mentor who will help you to focus on your personal growth as a Christian, not just as someone in ministry.
Some more info
Once you have completed your application, we will contact your references. Then you will go through a series of 3 interviews with Tees Valley Youth for Christ staff, and if accepted receive a conditional place in the program dependent on a background check. We aim to give a final decision on all applications within 7 weeks.
Nationality Specific Information
We accept volunteers from home as well as abroad. Click below to see information relevant to you.
Coming from the UK
The cost of the Serve Team is £3000. This includes your training, host home accommodation, conferences and team socials. If you live locally and do not need host home accommodation, the cost per year is £1200.
We can help you to think through ideas of how you can fundraise for your year and can set up a payment schedule so you don’t need to have the whole amount upfront.
Coming from the US
Where is the Tees Valley?
We are located in the North East of England, around a 5 hour drive North of London. Teesside is named for the river Tees, which runs all the way through the valley. It is a great place to experience the varied aspects of English culture, and is surrounded by beautiful coastal areas and countryside. The Tees Valley is also home to some of the most deprived areas in the country and there is enormous need, both physical and spiritual. A number of social/economic problems mean that many of the young people and families who we see every week are living in circumstances that are far from ideal. With only 6% of the UK living as practising Christians, there is a real need for people to get to know the God who created and loves them. Britain is a post-Christian society with at least two generations essentially missing from the church. We are praying desperately for revival. We know that He can bring healing and restoration unlike any other to the Tees Valley and the rest of the UK!
Before you can come to the UK to volunteer with us, you will need to apply for a Tier 5 charity worker visa. Tees Valley Youth for Christ is a visa sponsor; we will take you through the application process, and provide you with detailed information about how to complete your paperwork and biometrics appointment. The current cost of a Tier 5 visa is £259.
The UK also has a £624 Immigration Health Surcharge (per year), which you will pay as a part of your visa application. This allows you to access the National Health Service during your time in the UK, so you won’t need additional health insurance. You will have the same access to the NHS as a British person would, meaning you won’t pay anything additional for medical treatment apart from the cost of filling prescriptions.
After serving a year in the UK on this visa, the UK Government has instituted a ‘cooling-off’ period of 12 months. What this means is you will need to live outside of the UK for 12 months before you’re able to re-enter the country again on the same type of visa.
Before you join the SERVE Team, you will raise an estimated $16,500. This will cover everything from your housing, food, training, and admin costs as well as your your in-country costs (phone credit, local transport, and around $90 per week spending money). This will be enough to live off of, but you will need to be careful with your spending. We would encourage you to keep personal spending to a minimum. The costs of your visa, health surcharge, international travel, background check and medical travel insurance are included in this. Any extra travelling that you might want to do around the UK/Europe is your responsibility to pay for.