Welcome to #YouShape!
Following the success of #YouShape 2017, this year we’re celebrating all things #YouShape for a whole month in February. Youth Shaped Scouting takes place all year round, but we’re focusing on February to support young people and volunteers to embed this traditional part of Scouting into what we do, and celebrating the amazing examples of Youth Shaped Scouting already taking place around the country.
Don’t forget to keep sharing what you’re up to this month using #YouShape on social media, and get your #YouShape badges and wristbands from Scout Shops.
What is #YouShape all about?
#YouShape Month is a platform to empower young people to shape their Scouting experience at a local and national level. During #YouShape Month, we’re encouraging all sections to run local activities that will help their young people engage on a national level.
Youth Shaped Scouting isn’t a new concept; empowering young people to decide, design and implement their own Programme and experiences is already happening around the country. #YouShape month allows us to ensure that this continues and is embedded in every level of the Movement.
What are we looking to achieve nationally?
- Raise the profile and understanding of Youth Shaped Scouting across the organisation. We have set a target of having 50,000 people across 80% of Districts taking part in some way.
- Increase the quality and quantity of sectional Youth Shaped Scouting, through Patrol Leader’s forums and Sixers meetings for instance, where young people get to express their ideas and gain more leadership opportunities.
- Get Youth Commissioners working collaboratively with their Districts/Counties to embed Youth Shaped Scouting into the following key areas: Programme, Leadership, Management and Governance.
- Work in partnership to shape the future aspirations of The Scout Association.
- Ensuring that Youth Shaped Scouting is embedded locally for years to come.
Consider what your District/County hopes to achieve. The success of Youth Shaped Scouting, both during February and beyond, partly relies on Youth Commissioners working together in Districts, Counties and Regions to plan, delegate and take action.
What could take place locally during #YouShape month?
- Wear Their Necker: get young people to shadow volunteers at Group, County or District level for a day placing them in decision-making positions may encourage adults to hear their views. Take a look at the national opportunities here.
- Invite young people to AGMs or District Planning meetings to understand and engage in decision-making processes.
- Get young people to voice their thoughts on their Programme through activities such as Edible democracy, Social media stars or Speedy Scouting, all which can be found in the resources below. All resources are linked to badges so they can be run as part of the Programme.
Our award-winning training scheme for volunteers means that adults get as much from Scouting as our young people.
Scouting’s quality depends on its volunteers and our volunteers depend on Scouting to teach them the skills they need.
Our modular training scheme delivers the full spectrum of required skills. Volunteers can choose training modules that are relevant to the role that they do, ranging from leadership to running residential experiences and first aid.
Our training scheme was recognised with a National Training Award from UK Skills. It is one of the reasons why we have managed to increase our volunteer numbers over the past few years, against the national trend.
Over 90% of our volunteers believe that the skills and experiences they have gained through Scouting have been of relevance to their working or personal lives, so we’re certainly doing something right.
A study of volunteers found that more than two thirds of respondents reported a direct correlation between their volunteer experience within Scouting and gaining employment or career development.
Training in Scouting has also enabled volunteers to gain accreditation for Open College Network awards in Youth Work, and helped them to become associate members of the Institute of Leadership and Management and the Institute for Training and Occupational Learning.
We are a vibrant, ambitious and confident Region with big plans for the future. I’m delighted to have an excellent team of dedicated volunteers supporting our work at District and Group level.
Each week over 900 young people aged 6 – 18 enjoy a hugely enjoyable and active programme at one of the 8 groups across the District.
We have more volunteers than ever… but we still need more!
Scouting now has the largest number of volunteers than we’ve had in our entire history! The annual Census figures are out and show us that there’s an incredible amount of volunteers in Scouting, but that with a sky-high waiting list for young people, we still need more.
Here’s a snapshot of the top facts and figures:
Total membership today is 618,000 – up by 7.8% from last year’s total of 573,943!
We’re in our twelfth year of membership growth and Scouting continues to be the largest co-educational youth movement in the UK. There are now457,000 young people involved in Scouting across the UK, which means 457,000 young people’s lives are being enriched with Scouting skills to help better prepare them for the future.
UK Scouting now has a staggering 154,000 volunteers – the largest numbers of volunteers in our entire history! This correlates with Scouting’s increasingly flexible approach to volunteering, allowing more adults to help out casually. While this number is certainly an impressive one, we’re still in need of as many more volunteers as we can get our hands on. Scouting is becoming increasingly popular and although we have more volunteers than ever before, there’s still a need for more. Chief Commissioner Tim Kidd says: ‘I’m calling on adults who want to make a difference to the lives of young people in their communities to give Scouting a go. We know that not having enough time is the main barrier to volunteering among adults, which is why we want to make it easier by offering flexibility in a range of roles from Scout group leaders to administrative and trustee positions.’
The waiting list for young people wanting to join has skyrocketed to 51,000 – the highest it’s ever been! On the one hand, it’s wonderful to see how many young people are keen to join in the fun and how popular the Movement is, but on the other hand, it means there are still a lot of young people currently missing out. Despite having the largest number of volunteers we’ve ever had, the number of young people waiting to join has continued to grow. If you’re reading this and not already a volunteer, why not become one and help ensure more young people benefit from the opportunities Scouting offers?
The Cub section is currently the most popular of all Scouting sections. There are 158,000 members of the Cub section and nearly 2,000 have joined in the last 12 months.
The top 10 fastest growing locations (by percentage of overall Scouting membership) in the UK in 2015-16 are:
- Mid Glamorgan
- County Londonderry
- Snowdonia and Anglesey
- Central Yorkshire
Thanks to everyone involved in Scouting for your hard work over the past year, your adventurous nature and dedication to making Scouting an incredible experience for all young people. These results are a testament to everyone’s efforts at growing the Scouting community across the UK.
With such massive growth across the UK, we’re always looking for new volunteers to help young people gain skills for life. Find out more and join the adventure.
Five new Scout Ambassadors join the Movement
The Scout Association is delighted to announce that five well-known figures will be joining the Scout Ambassador team, to raise awareness of Scouting’s invaluable work helping young people develop skills for life.
The new ambassadors are Paralympic gold medallist Ellie Simmonds, Olympic gold medallist Helen Glover, TV presenters Anita Rani and Steve Backshall, and adventurer Megan Hine. They join current Scout Ambassadors, including Chris Evans, Ed Stafford and Julia Bradbury, as positive role models for young people.
Chief Scout, Bear Grylls, was proud to welcome the five ambassadors to the Scouting family. ‘Like our other volunteers and supporters, they are incredible role models for young people, embodying our values and inspiring the next generation,’ he said. ‘Each of them brings their own unique skills and talents and I know will help shine a light on Scouting’s amazing work. Thank you to each and every one.’
Tim Kidd, UK Chief Commissioner, said that he hoped the ambassadors would inspire the volunteers and young people of the future. ‘Along with our current ambassadors and volunteers, I know they will champion our Scout values and support us in growing the Movement, helping more young people develop skills for life,’ Tim said. ‘As flexible volunteers themselves, they show how supporting Scouting can fit around busy lives. I wish Ellie, Anita, Megan, Helen and Steve well on their new journey and look forward to working with them.’
The five ambassadors will be encouraging more adults to join as volunteers. As testament to Scouting’s popularity, there are over 46,000 young people on waiting lists around the country, meaning more volunteers than ever are needed to help with the demand and give young people the opportunity to join the Scout Movement.
UK Youth Commissioner, Hannah Kentish, thanked the new ambassadors and welcomed them to their role, on behalf of all the young people in Scouting. ‘Scout Ambassadors are inspiring role models for the UK’s 580,000 Scouts,’ she said. ‘We’re honoured that Ellie, Helen, Anita, Steve and Megan have chosen to join our volunteer team, helping showcase the amazing work Scouting does every week, developing skills for life.’
As well as announcing our new Scout Ambassadors today, we are delighted to announce that Bear Grylls has accepted an offer to remain as Chief Scout until 2020. This follows a full consultation with the Council of The Scout Association and a recommendation from the Board of Trustees.
Since his appointment in 2009, Bear has proved an outstanding figurehead for Scouting, spearheading a period of strong membership growth.
Tim Kidd said: ‘By championing our values, improving public perception and inspiring our members, Bear has helped Scouting go from strength to strength, valued by parents and respected by the public at large, attracting more young people and adult volunteers. We thank Bear for his tireless support of our work, both locally and nationally.’
Look out for the Scout Ambassadors in the media, online and at national events in the near future. Due to time commitments, local requests for appearances cannot currently be met, but if you have an enquiry relating to the Scout Ambassadors, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.