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The Boys’ Brigade: Benefits and Barriers

The brief

The Boys’ Brigade is a youth organisation which enables young people aged 4 to 18 years old to learn, grow and discover.

In October 2022, The Boys’ Brigade approached Refresh to lead a PR project aiming to raise awareness of the invaluable life skills which can be learnt at uniformed youth organisations, such as The Boys’ Brigade, while also highlighting the benefits of volunteering.

Young people who attend The Boys’ Brigade can enjoy a wide range of activities at the groups as well as making friends, developing skills, building confidence, independence and resilience, while also being encouraged to make a real difference in their communities.

With this in mind, the core objectives for the campaign were to:

  • To understand why more people don’t attend: identify barriers and gain insights to overcome these
  • Raise awareness of the benefits of being part of a uniformed youth organisation (specifically The Boys’ Brigade), and the work that The BB undertakes in local communities nationwide
  • Shine a light on the benefits and opportunities available particularly for those aged 11-18 years old at The Boys’ Brigade


people reached via social media


views of social videos


reactions on social media

The campaign

We developed an owned content campaign, which helped to shine a light on the young people aged 11-18 years old who attend The Boys’ Brigade, as well as the volunteers who make the organisation the fun and welcoming place it is.

Given what we know about The Boys’ Brigade’s target audience for the campaign – young people and their parents – we devised an approach which focused heavily on social media and visual content.

This owned content campaign was multifaceted, with video footage being at its core, and was created for young people, with young people. We worked collaboratively with The Boys’ Brigade and its young volunteers from day one to ensure the wider organisation was involved in creating thought provoking and engaging content.

By hosting a number of focus groups across England and Scotland, we were able to capture content which uncovers what The Boys’ Brigade means to the young people involved in the organisation – whether they attend or volunteer at a local group. What’s more, we hosted one to one interviews with a number of participants to get a full understanding of what people think of the organisation.

From asking questions around what their friends outside of the organisation think of The Boys’ Brigade, to what members love about attending the group, the interviews really helped to uncover perceptions.

As well as creating a longer, five minute video for The Boys’ Brigade website, we worked with the team to create more than 20 social videos – as well as social media graphics – to roll out across owned social channels.

The results

Over the duration of the campaign:

  • 85,000+ people reached via social media
  • 23,000 views of videos across the three social channels
  • 9,000 reactions
  • 500 link clicks on Facebook alone

Services delivered include:

  • Strategy and planning
  • Content development
  • Video filming
  • Video editing
  • Script writing
  • General copywriting
  • Social media management
  • Measurement and evaluation
“This campaign has been a breath of fresh air and has really helped to engage so many young people within the organisation. Not only did the campaign enable us to create some really engaging content for social media which has generated great results, but the conversations which took place during the focus groups have led to some really interesting discussions internally which will ultimately lead to change. The Refresh team also live and breathe The Boys’ Brigade values and they’ve truly been an extension of our team – we can’t wait to get started on the next campaign!” Director for Operations, The Boys’ Brigade

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