The inaugural meeting (held virtually) began the process of re-establishing the group, and heard from Boys’ Brigade chief executive Jonathan Eales about the Boys’ Brigade's future plans and how it has dealt with the challenges of Covid.
Mr Thompson said: “I am delighted to be elected chair of the new Boys Brigade All Party Parliamentary Group at Westminster. This group will help support and promote the local, national and international youth work that the Boys Brigade provides.
“The Boys Brigade has a long history of creating opportunities for adventure, fostering teamwork and developing community spirit in young people which remains relevant today.
“It was great to hear from the chief executive about how their activities adapted and continued throughout the pandemic - in many ways the Covid crisis reminded us just how important community groups like the BB are.
“I have been impressed with how companies continued to operate successfully, producing some really excellent online resources like the ‘BB at Home’ initiative.
“One of the first issues the APPG will be keen to feed into is the development of the post-Brexit replacement for the EU Erasmus programme, the Turing scheme. I know many BB members have enjoyed life-changing opportunities for international exchange through Erasmus so we will be looking to ensure its replacement allows this to continue.
“I look forward to working closely with Boys Brigade representatives at local, UK and international level and with politicians from all parties to develop their work.”
Boys' Brigade CEO Jonathan Eales added: “I am delighted that the APPG group has been re-established, and it was great to be able to outline the organisation’s five-year strategy with the group, as well as sharing the creative ways our leaders have found to enable young people to learn, grow and discover during these challenging times.
"I’m grateful to Owen and his team for their support and look forward to working with the group to highlight the positive impact the organisation is having in the lives of young people across the UK.”