Vacancy for Administration and Communications Officer

An exciting opportunity has arisen for an Administration and Communications Officer for York Schools and Youth Trust (YoYo) starting in April 2018.The person appointed would be responsible for all the administration of the charity and to develop its communication.

15 hours per week in term time only

Salary: £17,000 pro rata

Based at YoYo office, Holgate Methodist Church, Acomb Road, York YO24 4AE

Closing date for applications: Monday 19th February 2018

Interview date: Friday 9th March 2018

There is a Genuine Occupational Requirement for the post holder to be a follower of Jesus.  For more details contact the office on 01904 798941 (up to 8th Feb) or 07710 889781 (after 8th Feb) or email

Download the job description and person specification here.

Please apply by sending your CV with a covering letter and names and contact details for two referees to Tony Bower, YoYo, Holgate Methodist Church, Acomb Road, York YO24 4AE marking your envelope ‘confidential’ or email with the word ‘confidential’ in the subject line.

Prayer meeting Monday 22nd January 2017

We will be holding our next prayer meeting on Monday 22nd January 2017 from 4.30-6pm at St Cuthbert's House of Prayer, Peasholme Green, York YO1 7PW.



Tony writes:

Over a period of two weeks I worked in five primary schools reflecting on how faith helped soldiers fighting in the First World War.  Sharing true stories of how the Bible had literally saved someone’s life, of how a prisoner of war set up a church service and helped bring comfort and peace to fellow inmates. I showed a replica of the gospel of John that was handed out to the soldiers as they set off to those horror filled battlefields. I read a letter from a soldier who had received the gospel with derision but had later come to find courage through the Saviour.

Powerful stories of how God’s word and God’s presence can transform hearts and minds. The children wrote some poignant and powerful pieces of poetry. This is a mere handful to show the depth of their understanding, the insight in their thinking and the beauty of their words.

Remembrance for website Nov17.jpg

Peace to the world  Charlotte

Put the war to sleep

End the shooting bullets

And give peace to the world

Cherish your Bible

Everyone deserves peace

I know I should

Never surrender

Take care of your heart

Have faith in your heart

End the panicking

Worry not

Open your hearts to others

Rest in peace soldiers who were


Let light lead you back home

Don’t let fear take over you!


I kept you alive  Zizi and Pia

I kept you alive

You were pounding, thumping  throbbing

For your life

I kept you alive

Your gun was shaking

At the thought of going to war

I kept you alive

Listen to me, look at me

All torn and ripped apart for you

I kept you alive

Believe in me

And I shall remain in you forever

I kept you alive


Remembrance for website Nov17b rotated.jpg

The prayers, the prison Sarah

The prison was like a castle of darkness

The prison was like a Tasmanian devil

The praying was like a highway to heaven

The praying was like a lamb in a field


The prison                             Mya

The prison is like a volcano

Pouring out at me

The prison is like a shark's

Circling all around me


The prayers are like a

Calm and clear water

The prayers are like a

Secret of God and a

Horizon of fireflies


Where have you gone? Maddie and Emily

Where are you?

Christmas lights don’t shimmer as bright

Our hearts are cold

Where have you gone?

Where are you?

Everyone is wondering

The dinner table is empty

Where have you gone?

Where are you?

The rivers are closing

Pine needles rushing to the ground

Where have you gone?


Come back

Remembrance for website Nov17a.jpg

An infant’s prayer (a class prayer written with key stage 1)

Thank you

For soldiers

Who fought

So we could live

And we pray

For love for one another

For people to be friends together

For kindness to anyone

They died so we could have peace

And play with our friends


Beverley Pawson, Headteacher at Sand Hutton and Warthill Federation said "At Sand Hutton pupils shared their words with parents in a sharing assembly and at Warthill in a moving Remembrance Service where they were joined by veterans. Their contributions were both moving and insightful. We were very grateful for Tony’s input and special involvement."

Termly Prayer meeting re-starting - Monday 12th June

We are pleased to announce that our termly prayer meetings are re-starting on Monday 12th June from 4.30-6pm at St Cuthbert's House of Prayer, Peasholme Green, York YO1 7PW.

All are welcome to join us to pray for the work of the team across the schools in our city and to pray for the less visible aspects of the work too such as trustees, admin, volunteers, finance.

We will also meet again in September and will continue to meet each term after that.  Do join us if you can.

Please download and share this flier with your friends, church, small groups etc.

YoYo Week of Prayer 2017

We invite you to join us in our annual Week of Prayer Monday 8th - Friday 12th May 2017.  Full details on the leaflets below - both of which can be downloaded for printing and sharing.


An Evening with Kenda Creasy Dean

A chance to hear Kenda Creasy Dean speak in Leeds on Saturday 8th April.

Free with dinner included!

Click below for more details and to download the flier.

Could you be a YoYo Trainee?

We are looking to recruit some trainee schools workers from September 2017 to join our team for the academic year 2017-18, as we deliver lessons, clubs, assemblies etc to most schools around York.

Our trainees would work alongside the experienced schools workers and can work flexibly and part time to fit around other commitments and all expenses would be paid.

Previous trainees have made the role their own by utilising their skills and gifts to enhance the YoYo team's offering to schools.

If you would like to find out more contact Tony Bower: or see our advert below:

'Is God Real?'

Before the February half term holiday, we were invited into Woodthorpe Primary to lead some lessons with year 5 on the topic of 'Is God Real?' The lessons were a great chance to help the children explore why Christians believe that God is real. We started the lesson by talking about why we believe that World War 2 happened, even though none of us were there. This drew out the point that it is possible to believe in something you may not have seen yourself because just like WW2, there is evidence for God's existence. We then used the lesson to talk about 3 main evidences for the existence of God: creation, Jesus and our personal experience. The children seemed to really enjoy the lessons and even the teachers commented that they had learnt a lot from them.

'Modern Disciples' and 'Science vs. Faith' lessons

Last week we had a fantastic week in All Saints Secondary School. We were asked to come in and work with the year 7 children, on the theme of 'being a modern day disciple'. Through the lesson we explored the idea of following and why you might choose to follow someone (including a higher or lower twitter quiz). We then explained why as Christians we choose to follow Jesus and his teachings. The main emphasis of the lesson was based around the great commission where Jesus tells his disciples that they have a job to do but he promises to be with them always. We encouraged the children that God will be with them always if they choose to follow him. The lesson was a great chance to share a bit about our experience, but also stimulate some deep discussion.

We also had chance during the week to work with the whole of year 9 on the theme of 'Faith vs. Science'. Through the lesson we were able to unpack some of the misconceptions that people might hold about science and explain that science is really important and valuable, but it can not answer all of our questions in life - faith can answer some questions that science can't. The young people were able to see through the lesson how science and faith aren't necessarily in conflict with each other, but can in fact compliment each other and it is possible to believe in both science and faith.

Christmas is Peace

Last week at Archbishop of York’s Junior School in Bishopthorpe some amazing pieces of poetry were produced. YoYo was invited to do some lessons on Christmas and Peace. The day started with Tony reading from his book, called Silent Night. The story is a real life Christmas story, but not an ordinary one. It goes back to World War I and talks about the tiredness of the soldiers on both sides, English and German, fighting in the trenches. He told it in a very lively way and involved the Year 6 children, so that they could imagine how the narrator, a British soldier, must have felt. In the middle of the story Tony stopped reading and asked the children for possible endings – some very exciting and imaginative ideas came up. At the end of the story I had my part with singing Silent Night in German, just as the German soldiers did in 1914. The British soldiers answered this singing with the English version of the song and what followed then is known as the Christmas Truce, a football game in the middle of a war zone.

After the storytelling part the two Year 6 classes got the chance to perform their own little drama on the story. They were divided into two groups representing the two armies. From shooting each other they went to shaking hands and joining in song.

Later, they also got the opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings about the story, about Christmas, War and Peace in writing. The following poem is a really good example of how creative and thoughtful the Year 6 children dealt with the task.

Peace is a powerful word

One not to forget.

But as a bullet flies,

And the grass turns grey.

No dictionary

In this world

Holds the meaning of the word PEACE.

Only God,

In the center of his heart,

The word reads,


And that word will never leave,

It is locked,

Not trapped,

But locked.

Locked forever.

Nothing will come between that.

Think what the world would be like

If we all were to be like God.

The world would never be the same again.

God created us for a reason,

Not to fight,

To live.

To love.

To bring


I really enjoyed the morning at Bishopthorpe because the story was very exciting and the children listen really well and did some great jobs in the drama and the writing. I think is it important to raise awareness about the importance of peace and that peace can be achieved everywhere, if people care about mankind and the reasons for us being on this earth. It was also nice to hear a different Christmas story and to be reminded of the importance of Christmas in various countries.

At the end we want to say thank you to the teachers who invited us in to see and experience such amazing works of poetry!



Working with youth and children, one of the most exciting things is seeing them becoming great leaders. There are teenagers across the city who are so excited about their faith that they want to share with their peers what they believe, and YoYo have a great opportunity to support them. Several Alpha groups have started in the city, with the youth setting them up and leading them in their schools so that their friends have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss what they think. It is great to be able to support young people in thinking about the big questions of faith, and to also team up with church youth workers in supporting these young leaders.

Remembering to be thankful...

Remembering to be thankful...

Woodthorpe Primary School and Carr Infants School have both been learning about how important it is to remember to be thankful. Lots of eager children shared about remembering to say thank you for their breakfast, and some even said thank you for their socks, but after looking at the story of the 10 lepers being healed by Jesus, and how only one of them remembered to say thank you, we all thought we should say thank you more often. We also encouraged the children to remember to be thankful on Remembrance Sunday and think about what it is we are thankful for when we wear our poppies. Next visit will be for Christmas...

Vikings ahead!

Yesterday, I had the pleasure to see and experience Tony reading one of his free verse stories about the Vikings. The children, classes 5 and 6 of Wigginton Primary School, have already done some work on the Vikings and know a lot about their life style and war techniques. Tony read the story, written in free verse and told by a first person narrator, to the children. He used gestures and varied the sound of his voice to make it as authentic as possible. To my mind, the children were really fascinated and engaged in the story. They got the chance to feel what the young protagonist felt. After having finished the first part, Tony asked the children what might happen next. There were a lot of different ideas about how the plot could go on - the young Viking could be the hero, a dog could be the important figure in the story, the father could be either loving or hart-hearted... When Tony continued reading the story the children were very quiet, eager to get to know which direction the story was heading to. At one of the most interesting and exciting points... time was over and Tony stopped. The children got the chance to either finish the story by writing the end or by doing a little drama. Both classes did a very good job in creating possible endings. There were no limits to creativity and especially the children doing drama were again really involved in the story and incredibly good at playing the characters. I believe that the lesson was a very good one. The children got involved and were happy with listening first and becoming active afterwards. Here is what the teacher thinks about Tony's lesson:

"Thank you, Tony. It was so inspiring having the author share such a gripping story. Listening to it told in the first person pulled us into the emotions of Urkin. There were so many ideas about how the sotry may continue. The children were hooked."

The Letters

In the second week of term Tony had the immense privilege and joy of reading my free verse book, ‘The Letters’, along with his son, Joseph, to the year six students at Ralph Butterfield. The story is set in first century Rome and tells the story of a Roman centurion and his son. The father is battle fatigued having lost his legion, and the son is a Christian, although the father doesn’t know this! When a slave girl appears in their house and on the run, and a suspicious senator arrives on the scene with orders for the centurion to guard a prisoner called Paul, the drama begins…

The five sessions in school were amazing and here is a response from some of the students and the teacher:

"In one point I was jumping out of my seat and other parts it was exciting and I wanted to know quickly what happens next" Keegan

"It made my hair on the back of my neck satnd up" Abi

"This book is mindblowing" Finlay

"Tony and his son brought the characters to life through their sometimes beautiful, sometimes entertaining story telling techniques. The children learnt a lot about the Romans and early Christianity along the way and Tony responded knowledgably and sensitively to the children’s questions. The story could be used in many cross curricular ways, and the writing that the children produced in response was stunning. I would highly recommend any school to invite Tony in and let him take you and the children on an imaginative journey"

Liz Daniel, year six teacher

Mercy lessons and poetry

Over the October half term Tony has been working with the whole of year 7 and 8 at All Saints Catholic school exploring the theme of mercy, through discussion, through Bible stories and through poetry. The work the students produced was astonishing, powerful and often deeply moving. Here is an example for you to enjoy. It was also great to have Garrett Troutman from Youth With a Mission with us in many of these lessons. Between us we are now looking at creative ways we can use the poems the students wonderfully wrote. We definetly agree on what the teacher, Jen Wotton, said about the lesson: "The lesson really brought out a depth and power of thinking. There were goose bump moments as the students poems were read out." We hope that you can agree as well after having read this poem.

How was I supposed to know?

How was I supposed to know that He was speaking the truth?

I was there - I watched it happen, I watched him die.

His footsteps echoed across the ground.

His eyes silently pleading for help.

Help, that no-body would give.

Mercy, that no-body would show him.

Love, that no-body could see.

He was gone and the world fell silent - mothers wept and cried on the streets.

But when He was up there - on that cross

He never got the love He did need.

- Lauren Clegg





Drama and poetry lesson at Bishopthorpe

Goliath attacking... very authentic volunteer!

Goliath attacking... very authentic volunteer!

Words from Marei: Last week I joined Tony and a volunteer doing a drama/poetry workshop at Archbishop of York Junior School. The topic of the lesson was David's story. The children got the chance to take part in three bits of drama. I think it was really good to start the lesson with an interactive activity including all of the children. There were main parts like David and the King, but the other children could also join the play being sheep or foxes. The first scene showed David as a shepherd caring for his animals. The childern could use facial expressions and gestures to show their emotions as either being afraid of the fox or being relieved for having David with them. The next scene was about David being chosen to be the next King and the third part was about the famous battle against Goliath. To my mind, all the children had fun watching and being part of the drama. It was an authentic way to convey the message of the story. After the drama, the children were to write any sort of poem about the story. Tony gave examples of personification poems, giving an object a voice and the children were to create their own poem. Here is one example out of a lot of very good work. Try to guess who or what is speaking in here:

God saved his life. By Ellie Adams

I saw it.
I saw the innocence.
Shadowing his eyes.
Pain beat in his heart.
Banging on his chest.
Boom, boom.
The grip.
The sweat.
Feel the tension, feel the fear, feel the anger.
I felt the jealousy.
Can you duck?
Can you run?
Save your life.
But you won't.
But you can't.
Your just Dave.
Your nothing.
I heard it.
I hate it.
I don't want to do it.
I don't want to kill him.
Yes I'm strong, yes I'm sharp.
But that means nothing.
I'm pulled back and I fly.
He can duck.
He can run.
God saved his life.
Not only were we amazed at the children's work, but also the teacher, who said afterwards: "Tony and his team made the session fun, relevant and educational. All of our students were engaged in the story. Perfect way to start the poetry lesson! Thank you." - Nicola Holbrough
At the end there is only one more thing to say: The work YoYo does is so diverse and colourful that I am happy to see how many schools give us the opportunity to show what we can do. Thanks!

Marei joins the YoYo team

My name is Marei Hanecke and I am from Germany. I joined the YoYo team in late September and will stay with them until before Christmas. In Germany I study to become a teacher for English and History and in my free time I like to do some youth work in churches or local community centres. I chose to do my work placement at YoYo's because I like the way they work and try to get children think about faith and what religion means to themselves. I have now been here for a week and already fell like being part of something special. Everybody cares for everybody else and this feeling of community can easily be conveyed in schools as well. I am sure that I will get a lot out of my time with YoYo and will at later times of my life look back with a smile and thankfulness. 

Copmanthorpe Primary has a new open the book team

A new Open the Book has started at Copmanthorpe Primary School, lead by Kevin and Sue Jarrett and a great team of volunteers. However the team are already seasoned pros as they already deliver Open the Book at Archbishop of York Junior School in Bishopthorpe. The Open the Book in Copmanthorpe Primary was something that Tim Piper had been keen to start before he sadly passed away, so it is great to see the project get off the ground. Andy and Izzi joined the team for their first assembly on 28th September, and they will continue to visit the school regularly in the coming weeks and months. 

Bananas in All Saints

Andy and Izzi have been doing a series of assemblies in All Saints school, using a banana eating contest to help the young people think about being open minded to questions of faith. Within the assembly, two willing volunteers agree to take part in a blindfolded banana eating contest. The challenge they are given is to eat their banana as quickly as possible. However after one of the participants has been blindfolded, the other participant is quietly told that they are't going to be blindfolded and don't need to eat the banana. The blindfolded participant races to eat their banana, assuming that the other participant is doing the same. However when their blindfold has been removed they realise that things weren't as they expected. We link this to the idea that in life we can all 'blindfold' ourselves to things, assuming we are right, but it is important to stay open minded and listen to what other people say. We finished the assembly by saying that faith raises a lot of questions and it is important to explore our own views and thoughts.