Yuvak Mandal – The Youth Wing, is the grassroots youth association of our Temple. We actively get involved in organising social, cultural and religious events. If it’s not a Sunday morning sabha, it is most likely to have been organised by YM.
All mandirs run relgious events; whilst they are still the priority of the Mandir, YM likes to focus on the social aspect the temple can play in the lives of the youth. We have a group of 60 or so youth who enjoy taking part in our regular weekly activities, getting the time to meet their friends, participating in activies they can enjoy and learn from. For a small mandir, we love punching above our weight with creative ideas. The most ambitious event we have recently run was the Shaftesbury Road Street Party during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012. We raised money for Richard House Children’s Hospice.
We enjoy doing seva (selfless service) for the wider community. Where we can, YM have ran numerous fundraising events for world disasters and other local charities, by coming up with creative ideas to raise money. For example, for the Philippines Earthquake we ran a car wash in association with the local council. In fact overall, we’ve raised a staggering £138,439 to date for various external causes.
Our flagship weekly events are the Thursday Jam interactive sessions. During these hour-long sessions, youth learn interesting teachings in refreshing ways that can be applied to our daily lives – sparking thought and intellectual questioning.
Our Shibirs are camps lasting over several days, located in remote areas giving us a chance to learn how to live our lives spiritually away from all the usual distractions. Our innaugural Shibir took place in 2003 at Keele University, with our most recent being the first to involve all the UK Swaminarayan Nar-Narayan Dev Mandirs in 2010 at Leicester University – a first for our nationwide community.
The youth of our mandir possess various skills and abilities; we make use of these to ease the day-today running of the temple. YM operate various departments in the temple, in areas such as audio systems, the musical band, decorating the temple, photography, the website, and much much more.