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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

Chatterbox trees

First suggested by Mind, SAMH, Inspire NI
Show your decision maker how you’ve taken action to promote better mental health for all.

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You’ll need

  • Pens or pencils
  • Sticky tack
  • Device with access to the internet
  • A3 paper

Before you begin

Contact your decision maker

  1. The person leading the activity should explain that members of parliament and other decision makers represent the people living in an area – speaking to them is a great way for people to get their voices heard and influence positive changes.

MPs also speak to local service providers as part of their job so they may be able to share your perspective.

  1. Everyone should work together to figure out what information their decision maker will need. They’ll probably need to give them a choice of dates and explain what they’re inviting them to.

Think about whether you could go to their office, too.

  1. Someone should contact the decision maker and organise a meeting.

The best way to do this is to call or email their office. It’s up to you who does this. Remember that decision makers are busy – it’s OK to try again and get back in touch if you don’t get a response.

Make your tree

  1. Everyone should work together to draw a big tree with roots and branches on the A3 paper. They should use as much of the paper as they can.

You could use card for this if you have any – it’s up to you whether you get coloured paper or card or colour the tree in.

  1. Everyone should use sticky tack to attach their chatterbox to the tree. They should make sure it’s stuck on properly, but their decision maker should be able to gently ease it off to read it.

If anyone doesn’t want to use their original, they could make a copy to attach.

  1. Everyone should work together to decide what they want to say to their decision maker. How will they tell them that mental health and wellbeing are important?

People may want to share their personal experiences or what motivated them to campaign for better mental health for all.

  1. Everyone should plan what they’ll tell their decision maker about mental health. What have they learned? What needs to be done to achieve better mental health for all?

Remember that not all decision makers will know much about young people’s mental health or the challenges you face. Be ready to start with the basics.

  1. Everyone should decide what they’ll ask their decision maker to do. Sometimes people talk about a ‘call to action’.

You could ask them to attend an event, work to improve a local service, or take your issue to parliament.

  1. Finally, everyone should think about how they’ll take care of their wellbeing. What will they do if they start feeling overwhelmed? What if someone decides they don’t want to share their experience after all?

For example, you could plan a quiet space where people can take a break or agree a plan for checking in with each other.

Meet your decision maker

  1. Everyone should make sure they’re ready and that they remember what their role is.
  2. Everyone should take a deep breath and follow their plan to chat to their decision maker. It may seem daunting, but by turning up the decision maker’s making it clear that they care what people have to say.
  3. After the meeting, everyone should remind themselves that they’ve done a great thing by using their voice to campaign.
  4. Everyone should follow up after the meeting with an email to say thank you and remind the decision maker of any actions they agreed on.
Logo containing the words Scouts for SDGs. The O in Scouts is made up of 17 coloured segments, representing the 17 goals.

This activity helps contribute towards some of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. Find out more about the SDGs, and how Scouts across the world are getting involved.

Logo with the number 3 and the words good health and wellbeing, with a zig zag line and a heart underneath.


This activity was all about improving wellbeing and helping your community. Why is it important to share information about mental health? People could think about how it helps everyone learn together and reduces stigma, making it easier for people to talk about their experiences. Had people contacted their decision makers before? How could contacting a decision maker help the community? People could think about how decision makers have power to make bigger changes that ordinary people can’t do on their own.



All activities must be safely managed. You must complete a thorough risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Always get approval for the activity, and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

It’s up to you who contacts your decision maker. Some groups may need an adult to do this for them while others could draft and send an email from the group’s email address.

If your decision maker can’t make it, think about what else you could do. Could you write a letter or an email and ask them to write back?

You don’t have to stop once you’ve met with your decision maker – how else can you get important people’s attention and engage them? Who can think of creative ideas to spread the message of better mental health for all?

Not everyone needs to write for this activity – people can work together to share ideas and then one (or a few) people can write them all down.  

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.

Ask your decision maker for permission to tell others about their visit. You could share it on your own social media or through local media so everyone in the community’s aware of what’s happened and what their decision maker will to do achieve better mental health for all.

You could arrange to visit your decision maker’s office to follow up on your meeting. Some decision makers have open office hours or coffee mornings – these could be the perfect opportunity to ask questions in person.

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