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The impact of Scouts on young people

The impact of Scouts on young people

We’ve supported those who’ve needed our help at an incredibly challenging time. We’ve listened and responded with empathy and action, harnessing the power of digital, our supporters and the media to make a powerful difference.

You’ve read some of the big ways we’ve made an impact this year – from offering over 1.2 million hours of Zoom calls to supporting at least 500,000 families through The Great Indoors – so we wanted to draw your attention to some of our small-but-mighty stories too.

Riley and his mum

Riley

‘My son, Riley, is 7. His stepdad passed away 22 months ago, only nine and a half weeks after a stage 4 cancer diagnosis. Riley was only 5 at the time and he’s struggled very much with his grief since. He joined Beavers last September and it’s an activity that he really looks forward to – it takes his mind off the things he’s trying to
deal with.

Obviously, lockdown on top of Riley’s grief has been quite difficult. He misses his school and his friends. He misses his out of school activities and his stepdad’s absence has been felt even more so during the isolation.

But, every week, Riley’s Beaver leaders run a Zoom meeting. Riley looks forward to these meetings and it has been amazing for his emotional wellbeing. He loves seeing his friends and his Beaver leaders, and it cheers him up no end. It’s been lovely to hear my son laughing with his friends and joining in with the Zoom meetings, and I’m so very grateful for all the hard work that our leaders put into the meetings.’

Amy

‘Amy (23) has Scouted through a history of illness, earning the Cornwell Scout Badge in 2014 for her battles with teenage arthritis. Since then, Amy had a stroke in 2016 (aged 19) but still carried on, giving her all to Scouting, making a huge difference and supporting so many within her own community (including some of Birmingham’s most deprived and diverse wards). Amy has supported endless families in financial hardship to carry on Scouting, taken a personal lead in SEN inclusion, volunteered as a mental health supporter, lead on the first ever early years pilot, become a team leader within the 111 and 999 service, and developed her Scouts group. All while still suffering PTSD and post-stroke complications.

Amy has far surpassed any expectation we would have of any volunteer, let alone one who’s faced so much adversity and at such a young age.’

James

‘James’ mum very recently died after a very short illness. She was in and out of a hospice before she died and James, who was only aged 7, was put into foster care. Despite this, he still continued to complete his requirements for his Bronze award. When his mum died, he still had four requirements to achieve, and was desperate to do this to keep himself going and to make her proud. He completed the last requirement within a week of her passing to help stay busy. The determination and strength shown by this child is incredible, and he continues to smile and help others – a true little hero!’

Theo

‘Unfortunately, Theo (13) was diagnosed with a brain tumour in mid-2016 and had to undergo extensive surgery to remove the tumour where he irretrievably lost his sight. He also has a number of other medical challenges on top of this. However, determined as ever to keep going, Theo has also kept up with local Scouting which is now on Zoom. He’s been able to engage in adventurous activities and camps over the years, alongside fundraising for Guide Dogs for the Blind through craft fayres, running challenges, tandem bike rides, craft fairs, and collections at the local Co-op, raising over £7500 for Guide Dogs for the Blind. Theo has really shown the Scouting values, and has gone above and beyond to raise money for this charity despite his personal challenges. His kindness and courage in the face of adversity really shows the strength of character he has.