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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

Discover what this means

Our vision for equity, diversity and inclusion

Making Scouts more inclusive and open to all

At Scouts, we’re open to all. Our main priority is to make sure that everyone, be that our young people or our volunteers, feel welcome and comfortable to take part.

But, what does EDI actually mean to us?

Equity is about making sure that every young person and volunteer has equal opportunities, whatever their identity or background. Equity isn’t about treating everyone in the same way; it recognises that it may require different approaches for different individuals or groups. 

Diversity means valuing all differences between the people in our movement, whether they’re visible or not. It includes recognising different viewpoints, experiences, and identities as strengths. Diversity isn’t about ‘accepting’ or ‘managing’ differences; it’s about nurturing and celebrating them. 

Inclusion means taking proactive, positive actions to remove any and all barriers to participation in joining or volunteering for Scouts. Being an inclusive movement requires an ongoing commitment to listening, understanding, and taking action. 

Our focus and objectives  

  • We're refining our understanding of who is currently in Scouting, and what groups or communities might be under-represented 
  • We're encouraging more people from diverse backgrounds to join and thrive in Scouts 
  • We're helping staff and volunteers feel confident in engaging with EDI-related work 
  • And we're improving the recruitment of senior volunteers from a diverse range of backgrounds 

What does this look like? 

  • Discovery – speaking to members and non-members, reviewing past data, conducting surveys, using a mixture of qualitative and quantitative research to make sure what we do is in response to the needs of our members  
  • New learning – developing new tools, like online learning systems, for staff and volunteers to meet the needs of more marginalised communities 
  • Volunteer led – working with the national inclusion to team and local inclusion leads to ensure that we are truly focused on improving Scouts for volunteers
  • Data-focused – analysing and interpreting data we have from the census, and creating a dashboard for local Scout groups to view data on the demographics of their groups in comparison to national geographic data 

What we've achieved so far

We're currently in the discovery phase, and so we have looked into the current status of EDI across Scouts. We've identified which demographic groups might be underrepresented across the adult membership, youth membership, and staff. And we've looked at understanding the barriers and enablers that might hinder or help these demographic groups to thrive in Scouts.

We've conducted this research through a mixed methods approach which included:

  • Qualitative methods, such as semi-structured interviews and facilitated workshops with staff, young people, and volunteers. This helps us to can gain in-depth insights from the perspectives and experiences of people across the movement.
  • Secondary research into past research that the Scout Association has commissioned, external research and approaches used by other organisations to help us understand, benchmarks, challenges for progression and best practice in this space.
  • Quantitative approaches to analyse past and current data relating to EDI in the movement.

As always, we've been led by data and spoken to a range of people to allow for as unbiased a view as possible to help us understand the needs of staff, young people, and volunteers.

Our next step is to work with staff and volunteers to identify actions that could make systemic change within the movement.

Our vision for race equity

It’s time for every one of us, as Scouts, to live by our promise, law and values by becoming a place that’s inclusive of all races and ethnic backgrounds, so that everyone can be themselves and thrive.

Read our vision for race equity
For volunteers

Find out what guidance and training is available for volunteers looking to be more inclusive.

Read our advice >