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Our aim: Scouts is understood, more visible, trusted, respected, and widely seen as playing a key role in society today.

Progress a year on…
Improving our perception

– We continue to drive awareness of Scouts and consistently communicate our skills for life message, while responding to the context of the pandemic. We paused the previous Perception work in April 2020 to address immediate priorities raised by COVID-19’s societal impact. We’ve focused on supporting young people in lockdowns, making sure they could still learn skills for life, and preparing to recruit new volunteers and launch the early years section in 2021.
– Throughout this, we’ve continued to create quality content that demonstrates the relevance of Scouts. Two films have been shortlisted for EVCOM (Event & Visual Communication Association) Clarion Awards 2021: one on our partnership with the Duke of Edinburgh Award, in the category of Education and Training, and one with our Ambassadors (‘Scouts Made Me’) in the category of Brand Communication.

Supporting young people during COVID-19

– We’ve delivered a number of high profile, multi-channel campaigns, focusing on supporting young members during lockdowns. We launched the Great Indoors within a week of schools closing: 200 fun activities downloaded by more than 500,000 families who were stuck at home and needed support with learning and homeschooling. We teamed up with the BBC for The Big Night In and challenged members to Hike to the Moon, to raise funds to support local communities. We also ran a follow-up challenge to support the Scout groups hardest hit by the pandemic, Race Round the World, with teams of Scouts racing each other to complete a 47,000 mile route round the globe. Across the year, these campaigns raised over £1,000,000 and generated 2,000 media items, giving every adult in the UK the chance to see at least 10 pieces of positive media coverage.

Progressing our brand

– We announced our new Joint President, HRH The Duchess of Cambridge, in September 2020, linking this to the forthcoming early years section. This news secured unprecedented positive profile on ten front pages of UK newspapers.
– We’ve rapidly developed the brand, name and uniform for the new early years section, to launch in autumn 2021. Engaging with over 1,300 adults and young people internally and externally to test the brand, we’re confident it’ll appeal to our priority audiences, including those from more lower income earning communities and Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds.

Scout Ambassadors and Chief Scout

– Our Chief Scout and diverse team of Scout Ambassadors including Tim Peake, Ellie Simmonds, Dwayne Fields and Steve Backshall supported The Great Indoors and the huge fundraising effort. For our #ThankTwo campaign in February, five Ambassadors dropped in on local Scout Zoom meetings to share their appreciation. Collectively, their media appearances, videos, interviews and opinion pieces, and their social media influence, all helped drive messaging, thanking and inspiring our members.

Attracting, recruiting and retaining volunteers

– Our big priority for the year ahead is recruiting volunteers to create provision for the young people returning in droves. We worked closely with volunteers and colleagues to expand the materials and support for current volunteers to attract new volunteers. This includes launching our national recruitment campaign, #GoodForYou, which will continue to run over the forthcoming year.

Early Years

Our aim: Research, pilot, and evaluate different models of reaching young people under 6.

Progress a year on…

Pilots and evaluation

– With the kind support of the Department for Education and The Mercers Company, we established 30 early years pilots in some of the most deprived areas in England.
– After 18 months of piloting, the Centre for Research into Early Childhood said ‘Participation in the Early Years Scout Programme, even over a relatively short period of time, has had a positive and sometimes transformative impact on the children’s development.’
– On the basis of this evaluation and having further consulted over 1,400 young people, adult volunteers and parents/carers, our Trustee Board agreed to create new early years provision in Scouting.

Creating a new section

– Over the next year, and with the kind support of #iWill Fund, The Mercers Company, Peter Cruddas Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, Bear Grylls Ventures, Jack Petchey Foundation and The Schroder Charity Trust, we’ll now create 300 early years sections across the UK in underrepresented communities.
– We plan for 50% of these new sections to be in lower income earning communities, and 10% to be reaching Black, Asian and minority ethnic families.
– Learning as we go, we’ll be ready to open another 500 sections in 2022/23.
– By 2033, we hope to welcome another 130,000 four and five year olds, supported by 40,000 new adult volunteers.