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Race Equity

Making Scouts more inclusive and welcoming to all

Our vision for race equity 

We’re developing a vision for race equity to make clear our commitment and provide a foundation for the changes we’re going to make. 

We want to be more inclusive and welcoming of people from underrepresented backgrounds, so it’s an absolute priority for us to make sure that there’s race equity at the Scouts. We all have a responsibility to look at ourselves and more widely, always questioning if we’re being inclusive, listening to different voices and adapting our behaviours.

Carl Hankinson, UK Chief Commissioner

What we mean by race equity

Equity is about understanding that different people need different things in order to succeed in life.

In the past, we’ve talked about equality, which focuses on ensuring everyone gets the same opportunities. But this ‘one size fits all’ approach fails to recognise that we’re not all starting from the same point. For centuries, Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities in the UK have faced discrimination, unfair treatment and barriers to opportunities, based on their race.

So, it makes sense that they may need different resources or support in order to succeed. Only when we have achieved equity can we say that everyone truly has a fair chance in life. 

For the Scouts this means that we’re working towards changing the way we think and do things so that we can become a movement that gives everyone what they need to thrive.    

Graphic showing the difference between equity and equality. For equality everybody is given the same bike, and for equity everybody is given a bike that is adapted to their needs.

Our focus

Exploring different cultures and identities is something we’ve incorporated into our programme over a number of years, and we’ve seen some great examples of local Scouts taking place in new communities. 

But we know that people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds are still underrepresented in Scouts. They make up 13% of the UK population, yet just 6% of the Scouts’ youth membership and 2% of its adult volunteers are from these backgrounds. 

In order to better understand the experiences of people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds in Scouts, we commissioned external scrutiny from HTVB Consulting Ltd to carry out an independent race equity review between December 2020 and June 2021.

HTVB Consulting conducted listening sessions and one-to-one interviews with volunteers, staff and trustees. They also surveyed volunteers and staff, and analysed our policies and communications. Their findings formed a report with a number of recommendations for embedding race equity across our movement. 

To start applying the recommendations in the report, we’ve established a race equity project, overseen by a new Race Equity Project Board Team. This structure will help us to make the changes needed to ensure the Scouts is a more inclusive place for people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds. 

Shaping our race equity work

We’re developing a vision for race equity to make clear our commitment and provide a foundation for the changes we’re going to make. We’re consulting with staff and volunteers to help shape this. We’ll then develop an action plan with specific targets and steps the movement needs to take in order to achieve our vision. 

What's next

Thank you to those who took part in our Vision for Race Equity survey. We're now looking at your responses and using them to help shape our vision.​

We’re committed to making Scouts more inclusive and welcoming to underrepresented communities, now and in the future. This is about everyone and we need your help to get it right, so look out for more opportunities to get involved. 

Together, we’ll keep questioning, listening and adapting our behaviours, learning from each other and growing our movement. 

Inclusion and Diversity

Scouts is an inclusive, values based movement and membership is open to all those who share our fundamental values.

Read more about Inclusion and Diversity at Scouts >
Skills for Life

Six programmes of work will help us to achieve our #SkillsForLife vision for 2025: People, Programme, Perception, Digital, Early Years and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

Discover the Programmes of Work >

Race Equity Project Board Team

The team bring a wealth of experience in their professional, volunteer and personal lives to guide the direction for the race equity project at Scouts.

Meet the Race Equity Project Board Team