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Our aim: A fun, high quality programme, consistently delivered and supported by simple (digital) tools.

Progress a year on…

We completed our eighteen-month project to create an online activity finder and programme planning tool last year, with over 1,200 activities for every badge requirement now online. We built on this with a dedicated team of staff and volunteers focused on developing our programme resources. This allowed us to continuously adapt our support during COVID-19 restrictions while still responding to other developments throughout the year. This has meant that, on average, adult volunteers are using our resources 40,000 times per month.

Supporting young people during COVID-19

We worked hard to provide programme content and advice that helped Scouting to keep going locally, in a year when face-to-face Scouting was largely suspended:
– In response to lockdown, and supported by Nominet and Rolls Royce, we quickly created #TheGreatIndoors, a badge and activity campaign for every section so that Scouting could continue at home. It was our first ever badge to be available to non-Scouts, with over 200 activities designed to be done at home and accessed by at least 500,000 families. The Great Indoors was shortlisted for the CIPR Excellence Awards 2021, in the category of ‘Best COVID Response- Public sector/charity’.
– In July, The Great Indoors Weekender attracted 120,000 young people from 44 countries to a live online camp.
– Our partnership with Zoom has seen 43,000 meetings take place online – that’s over 1.2 million hours.
– We created 314 new activities for use under social distancing restrictions, 90 of them in collaboration with, or supported by, partners.
– In response to member feedback, we created a video series called Press-play-and-go, showcasing activities for adult volunteers to use in their online sessions.
– With the kind support of the Department of Health and Social Care, we created eight activities to inform, empower and mobilise young people around the process of COVID-19 testing at schools.
– To support young people to take social action during COVID-19, our Care for Care Homes campaign saw 10,000 acts of kindness for care home residents; our Wellbeing Champions campaign alongside Mind, SAMH and Inspire saw 4,000 young people become Mental Health Champions; and the activities we created for our fundraising campaign, Race Round the World, helped raise nearly £740,000 for Scout Groups most at risk of closure.
– We also supported the logistics and realities of changing COVID-19 restrictions, with 65% of all groups ready to return safely to face-to-face delivery in July 2021.

Responding to young people’s lives

COVID-19 wasn’t the only thing young people were affected by this year.
Working with partners, we helped adult volunteers explore these issues and help young people thrive post-pandemic:
– To support Black History Month, we created new activities for all sections exploring race and equality, supported by our National Inclusion team.
– For Remembrance Day, and at a time when loss had a particular poignancy, we created a set of activities resulting in our highest online visitor numbers and record sales of the Royal British Legion uniform Poppy badge.
– In partnership with Nominet, we re-launched the the Digital Citizenship staged activity badge, building citizenship skills in a digital context and securing great media coverage.
– Network Rail joined us to work on safety activities for Beavers and Cubs, and mental health issues for Scouts and Explorers.
– Dungeons and Dragons, supporting the Scout Entertainer Badge, hosted a virtual launch at Wintercamp in January 2021, providing a free starter kit and video content alongside new activities.

From recovery to resurgence...

As face-to-face Scouting returns, we’ll work to make programme delivery as easy as possible for the new volunteers that we’re working to recruit. We'll focus on how our resources are used and adopted, increasing the volume and quality of social action taken in Scouting. We’ll consider the effectiveness of our 14–24 programme and we’ll capitalise on the opportunities we’ve seen from digital Scouting as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.