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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Scouts aim to help young people recover from the pandemic


Scouts Scotland has launched the #GoodForYou campaign to recruit volunteers

Volunteering can help people regain their confidence after the coronavirus pandemic, a charity has said.

Scouts Scotland has launched the #GoodForYou campaign, which is designed to recruit new volunteers. The aim is to help young people to reconnect, supporting their wellbeing and building their skills for life.

The campaign highlights how volunteering with scouts is good for you – supporting young people’s CV, their wellbeing, family and community. 

Scout groups across Scotland are now looking to build on the amazing work that has happened through the pandemic and empower young people when they need it most. To do this, scouts need more adults to step up and volunteer to work with young people. Scout volunteers will create opportunities for young people to recover from the impacts of the pandemic by supporting their wellbeing and building the skills needed to succeed in life.

However, the pressures of the last year have meant that youth membership has fallen by 19% over the past year, falling from 38,409 last year to 30,995. Adult volunteer numbers are also down from 13,554 in 2020 to 11,720 for 2021.

These numbers are an indicator of how the pressures and disruptions to life over the past year mean not all youth members have been able to continue in scouts. This is especially the case in communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

Katie Docherty, chief executive of the charity, said: “Young people have lost out on so much in the past year and our membership numbers show how many were unable to continue with scouts due to lockdown. The good news is now that we are back together face to face we are seeing lots of those faces returning. That’s why we need more people to help us make sure young people can once again meet friends, have fun and fulfil their potential by learning skills for life. That’s why today we’re calling on people to volunteer for Scouts. Volunteering is good for communities, good for young people and good for you.”

Over the next six months, Scouts Scotland will be running a series of locally-focused recruitment campaigns. These will encourage new volunteers to join, as well as invite those young people and adults who drifted away during the pandemic to re-join and to create new scout groups in areas of greatest need. The campaign will appeal to new adult volunteers and how volunteering is good for your health, happiness, skill development and family life.

Over the last year, 13,000 online scout meetings were held, more than 150,000 badges were earned by young people and our volunteers supported young people with at-home challenges like The Great Indoors and Hike to the Moon, and when restrictions have allowed, have run socially-distanced meet ups too.

Zander Greenwood, (15) from Hamilton, said: “The best thing about being involved in scouts during lockdown was learning skills, for example I learnt about different ways to build fires. I also learnt about different knots that I then used to build a rope swing in my garden. The weekly meetings online helped me to keep in touch with my friends during lockdown too.”

Leanne Morris, a scout volunteer, from Monifieth said: “Being a volunteer with the scouts over the last year has given me a focus. Creating and running activities online were a great distraction from the news. Taking part in some of the camps at home/online also encouraged me to get outside with my family and this really had a positive impact on my mental health and wellbeing. The best thing has been the community spirit we created online. Although we were all in our own spaces we were doing activities together, supporting and encouraging each other and sharing our successes.”

Bear Grylls, Chief Scout, said: “The past year has been so tough for so many. And it’s also shown just how important it is for us to work together to help those in need. Scouts plays a fundamental role in the lives of thousands of young people and our goal is to build back our membership by welcoming thousands of new volunteers across the movement. As an adult volunteer you can help us continue to make an incredible contribution towards helping young people learn new skills for life. You’ll gain some great new skills, new friends and help empower young people to be prepared for their future.”

For more information, visit the Scouts Scotland website.



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