Who is behind FirstServe?

FirstServe has been developed and created by 3 mission organisations – Echoes International, GLO and Counties, to encourage young people to serve and support mission.  It is designed to be a stepping stone programme that will develop and prepare you for future service, whether at home or on the mission field.

How much does it cost?

The programme costs £2,950, which includes all accommodation, training, insurance (excluding excesses) and travel costs throughout the duration of your programme.

A flat rate charge of £500 may be added to the programme cost for non-UK residents, in order to cover additional costs associated with their residency (eg return flight from their overseas placement).  This is charged on a case by case basis and would be disclosed at application stage.

Spending money and vaccinations would be an additional cost to successful applicants.

Do I have to be from the UK?

No! We have had FirstServers who have completed our programme from all over the world, including countries such as Germany, Canada and the US. We would advise however that anyone interested in the programme has a good level of English as this will be essential for the Tilsley training and UK church placement.

How long will my programme last?

Our standard programme lasts from 5-8 months, depending on your availability and the placement chosen.

How is the programme structured?

The programme will kick off at Tilsley College in Motherwell, where you will spend 4 weeks delving into God’s word and living in community with the other students.

After this, you will head to your UK church placement, where you will spend 4-6 weeks working in the church, taking part in a wide range of activities including youth work, church events, church service involvement and more!

Then, you will set off on the next leg of your journey, and head to your overseas placement where you will spend 3-6 months, engulfed in a new culture and community, serving God practically in a variety of different ways.

On your return to the UK, your final week of FirstServe will be spent at your UK church placement, before heading home after the experience of a lifetime!

Do I get to choose the country I visit?

Here at FirstServe, we will try to find you a placement that fits your experience, gifting and calling.  While location is a factor in finding the perfect placement for you, we also place equal importance on the type of ministry you are feeling led to serve in. (e.g medical work, youth and childrens work, working with refugees and migrants etc).  Please bear in mind that some of our previous placement locations may not be available due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19.

What support will I be given during my time with FirstServe?

There will be a world of support around you as you take this huge step of faith. It is essential that prior to departing for Firstserve, that you have been given the full support of your home church.  We would then ask you to choose a mentor from your home church who would keep in regular contact with you during your time away.  You will also have a programme supervisor assigned to you from each placement who will meet regularly with you.

Does FirstServe have any safeguarding requirements?

Yes. All FirstServe participants are required to comply with our safeguarding standards including completion of relevant DBS checks and appropriate training.

Details of FirstServe’s safeguarding practice is available on request from admin@first-serve.org.uk.

Persons wishing to bring a safeguarding concern to the attention of the FirstServe Steering Committee can do so by emailing admin@first-serve.org.uk.

When Can I Start?

We take new FirstServers on board in February and September of each year.  In order to arrange suitable placements and provide our mission workers with enough notice, we require that we receive your applications no later than 2 months before your start date.

Interested?  We’d love to hear from you! Please fill in our contact form, which can be found here.

Please get in touch if you have more questions!