Youth charity picks up challenge of Youth Synod

Stay silent for a change in solidarity with young people

The Synod on youth, which came to a close in Rome at the weekend, has called on the whole Church to accompany young people, including those who are most vulnerable in life. The Synod Bishops concluded with a message to young people declaring that the Church “does not abandon you” and “is ready to accompany you on new roads”.


Bishop Ralph Heskett, who attended the Synod as the ‘bishop for youth’ from England and Wales explained:

“At the end of the Synod, the Bishops called on the Church to accompany young people, including those who are excluded. We’re being invited to ‘stand bravely’ by their side, together discovering how all young people can live with dignity and supporting them to play their part in building today’s world.”

Million Minutes is inviting people to sign up now to use their ‘siLENT’ initiative as an opportunity to respond to this call. During Lent 2019 people are asked to take time to ‘stay silent for a change’ in solidarity with young people who are excluded, for whom silence in society isn’t a choice. Each minute is sponsored to raise money to support projects that accompany young people to change their lives and their local communities through projects that are based on Catholic social teaching.

Bishop Ralph added:

“I’ll be joining siLENT. It’s a great opportunity to be in solidarity with young people and to raise support for them”.

Sarah Burrows, a young adult from London, took part in the Synod preparation meeting in Rome involving over 300 young people from across the world. She says

“I’ll be staying silent in Lent as I see the need turn the Synod vision into a reality. We must seek ways to accompany young people and to enable them to help transform society.”

Joe Beatie, Coordinator of Walsingham House youth retreat center in Brentwood Diocese said:

“As a youth minister, every day I meet the young people that the Synod calls us to accompany. I see their absolute joy and I see the struggles they continuously face. They have so much to share with us and we can learn so much from them, but they need the space to be heard. I look forward to joining siLENT in solidarity with them. I will be speaking up with my silence and helping to raise money to give young people a platform and a voice”.

The money raised from siLENT will help people like Andre. At 16 Andre was isolated from lessons at school due to his behavioural difficulties. Lonely and frustrated Andre was given a second chance when volunteers from the local parish (funded by Million Minutes) encouraged Andre and accompanied him to help out at his local primary school. During the year his confidence grew so much that he built relationships with young people in his local neighbourhood. Knowing what being isolated felt like, he saw opportunities to include others, like supporting a child using a wheelchair to take part in a basketball game with his peers.  “I feel empowered,” he said. Andre overcame his own difficulties to use his voice to make a change for other young people.

Danny Curtin, CEO of Million Minutes, said

“Let’s speak up with silence. Sign up now for siLENT 2019. Instead of simply cutting out sugar or chocolate, take time to give up the things that fill life with noise and restlessness. By doing this you will not only allow time for silence, but your sponsorship will make a real difference to young people supporting the Church to accompany young people, especially those without a voice.”

Stay siLENT for a change. SIGN UP TODAY at:


2018 Caritas Festival

On Tuesday the 2nd of October Million Minutes was delighted to attend the 2018 Caritas Festival in Whitefield, Manchester.

 Sr Judith setting up the afternoons activities

Sr Judith setting up the afternoons activities

Caritas Ambassadors from 22 schools across the Diocese took part in the day`s event. The day provided an excellent opportunity for the young people to interact and share with each other and hear about the amazing projects Primary and Secondary schools had been supporting throughout the year.

It was clear from the energy and enthusiasm in the room that the students loved the day. Highlights included the musical celebration in honor of the New Bishop`s Awards and the afternoon activities, which saw each school given the challenge of figuring out the Superhero behind the 14 Caritas charities present. This enabled the teachers and students to hear from the different charities and as a partner of the event, Million Minutes were able to share our story and network with the schools and organisations present.

Million Minutes was also provided with an opportunity to promote siLENT and our grants scheme. All in all, a great day was had by all.

 Million Minutes X Caritas Salford Water Bottles

Million Minutes X Caritas Salford Water Bottles

 Million Minutes stand at the event

Million Minutes stand at the event

We've reached the million!

Million Minutes has reached a huge milestone - we've clocked up a million minutes of silence!

Million minutes started in 2011 to give voice and support to young people to change their lives and our world, raising money through sponsored silences

Thanks to a partnership with the Diocese of Brentwood, this Lent we have smashed the million minutes target and are well on the way to our second million.

Million Minutes' Director Danny Curtin said: "I'm delighted that together we've clocked up more than a million minutes of silence! It shows that we're prepared to stand with young people, especially those who don't get heard in today's world."

The last seven years have seen some big new projects, from the Celebrating Young People Awards to the Courtyard detached youth work project.

And the silence continues with siLENT, this year supported by Frank Cottrell Boyce, Delia Smith, Margaret Mizen Bishop Alan Williams and a host of schools and parishes.

Youth-led grassroots projects enabled by the sponsorship are spread across the country - from a children's holiday camp in Basildon to an intercultural programme in Bolton. All of them have young people leading social action on behalf of others.

There's still time to join silent 2018. Take part here

Sponsor someone here