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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

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Discover what this means

Learn about Zakat

What influences what people do with their money? Explore how someone’s religion might play a part with some tasty snacks.

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You’ll need

  • A4 paper
  • Sticky tack
  • Play dough
  • 100 chocolate buttons (or similar – see examples below)
  • Table knife
  • Plates (if using food)

Before you begin 

  • Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Take a look at our guidance to help you carry out your risk assessment, including examples.  
  • Make sure all young people and adults involved in the activity know how to take part safely.
  • Make sure you’ll have enough adult helpers. You may need some parents and carers to help if you’re short on helpers. 

These things may influence what people do with their money: 

  • Adverts 
  • People you live with 
  • Your friends 
  • Religion  
  • Trends
  • Your mood

These things probably don’t influence what people do with their money: 

  • Favourite colour  
  • Trees  
  • Your pet  
  • Eye colour  
  • Day of the week
  • Islam teaches that people should earn money in an honest and lawful way. There may be certain ways that someone who’s Muslim would not choose to earn money. They may also choose particular ways to save money.  
  • Muslims believe in giving to help others. This includes donating to charity whenever they earn money over a certain amount. This is called Zakat and is 2.5% of what you’ve earned. 
  • Zakat is one of the five pillars (main beliefs and practises) of Islam.  
  • The other four pillars of Islam are Shahadah (sincerely reciting the Muslim profession of faith), Salat (performing ritual prayers in the proper way five times each day), Sawm (fasting during the month of Ramadan), and Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca).  
  • Zakat comes from a word meaning cleanse. Muslims believe that giving to charity doesn’t decrease your wealth, but actually cleanses your wealth and increases it. 
  • Muslims believe that everything belongs to Allah, including money, so it should be used responsibly.  
  • Islam teaches that money can give us pleasure, but it can also be a distraction from the things that are really important in life. 

Zakat is the obligatory donation to charity that is given by Muslims once a year. Only certain Muslims pay zakat as it is based on how much wealth you own. It is calculated at 2.5% of your savings and financial assets. It doesn't include your everyday living expenses, such as food, bills, rent or money used for essential needs. 

Scouts is open to everyone. We don’t identify exclusively with one faith, and we welcome people of all faiths and of none.

We know it’s important for people to learn about each other, including understanding different faiths and beliefs. Scouts always respects people’s beliefs, faiths and cultures, and everyone should be open to learn.

As an inclusive and values based movement, we support our members to engage and learn about different faiths and beliefs in an exciting and meaningful way, even if they don’t have a faith themselves.  

Celebrating and understanding differences, including differences in faiths and beliefs, is an important part of our Scout values, which are:

  • Integrity: We act with integrity; we are honest, trustworthy and loyal.
  • Respect: We have self-respect and respect for others.
  • Care: We support others and take care of the world in which we live.
  • Belief: We explore our faiths, beliefs and attitudes.
  • Co-operation: We make a positive difference; we co-operate with others and make friends.

Our value of Belief and its exploration helps Scouts to learn from other faiths and beliefs. This encourages them to develop or build their personal beliefs and understand their shared values, whether faith-based on not. 

We know that learning about faiths, beliefs and different attitudes can help to break down barriers, helps us all to recognise what we have in common, and teaches us to value and respect other people. It also helps us to build up respect, acceptance and knowledge for each other, leading to a more co-operative and inclusive society. 

In our diverse society, people can sometimes feel cautious talking about  this sensitive subject. However, it's important that Scouts offers young people safe, exciting and open spaces to explore faiths and beliefs. They should be able to engage in personal reflection, as they question and develop their opinions and understanding of the world around them.

Making time for personal reflection and developing our beliefs means exploring the places, people, communities, celebrations or stories which hold meaning for us, and it may not necessarily mean exploring a faith. 

For example, someone’s shared values may be their Scout Values and that person may choose to reflect on them at important times, such as when they make their Promise. Others may choose to reflect at certain times of the year, such as a faith-based festival, birthdays, meaningful events or at New Year. Some people may still celebrate events, such as Christmas, but use it as a time to celebrate family, friends and loved ones, as well as for charity and giving.

Discover more about Faiths and Beliefs in Scouts.

  • Check for allergies, intolerances, fasting, food-related medical conditions, eating disorders, food sensitivities or dietary requirements, then adjust the food items used as needed. This may include making sure there’s no cross-contamination of packaging and no cross-contamination during the storage, preparation, cooking and serving. 
  • You may need to use separate chopping boards, equipment and utensils, such as tongs or toasters, for different dietary requirements, allergies and foods.
  • If you’re unsure, check with the young person and their parents or carers. You can check with the adult directly if it’s a volunteer or helper.
  • Some people may not like certain food textures or tastes and that’s OK. People don’t need to use all the ingredients if they don’t want to, and no-one should be made to try foods if they don’t want to. You can try to find an alternative for them. 
  • Take a look at our guidance on food preparation
  • You could run our kitchen hygiene activities before this session.
  • Always have a hand washing station, washing hands regularly throughout this activity, and taking extra hygiene precautions when handling food. If you're using gloves to prepare food, treat them like your hands. Wash any gloves before using them and in between if necessary.
  • Spray and wipe down all working surfaces and tables with anti-bacterial spray before and after use, and wash any equipment you’re using in hot soapy water.
  • Take extra hygiene precautions when handling raw meat, such as regular hand washing.
  • Keep raw and ready-to-eat foods separate, having separate equipment for raw and cooked meat, and washing up equipment as soon as it's been used. 
  • Make sure food is properly cooked before you serve it. Always cut through poultry and meat to make sure it's fully cooked, especially when barbecuing food. Make sure it's cooked slowly and thoroughly, and not just done on the outside.
  • Always follow cooking instructions and never use food past its use-by date. 
  • Keep food out of the fridge for the shortest time possible.


Planning and setting up this activity

  • Write each of the items from the list on this page onto a different piece of paper.
  • Hide the pieces of paper around the meeting space before the session.
  • You could add more itemsor even create your own list. If you do, you should include some things that influence what people do with their money, and some things that probably don’t influence what they do. We’d advise to include ‘religion’, as this links to the second part of the activity.  
  • Label one side of the meeting space influences’ and the other ‘doesn’t influence’.
  • This activity explores what 2.5% looks like with food items, such as chocolate buttons, crackers, sweets or anything else that you can cut up. We’ve suggested a few tasty ways to make learning about percentages more active and interesting, along with some other options that don’t involve food.

Running this activity

  1. Gather everyone together and explain that two areas of the meeting space represent things that influence what people do with their money and things that probably don’t influence what people do with their money. Explain that these things could affect how people save and spend their money, as well as what they donate or give.    
  2. Ask everyone to search around the meeting space to find the hidden words. You should explain any boundaries, no-go zones or additional instructions, such as no climbing.
  3. When all the words have been found, an adult should read each one out. People should decide whether they think it influences people or not, then move to that sign depending on their answer. You may want to ask some people who are happy to share why they chose that answer and how they think it might influence someone.
  4. Ask everyone where they put religion and why. Explain that different religions have different approaches to money. The religion that someone belongs to might affect what they choose to do with their money. See if anyone can think of any examples.

All about Zakat 

  1. Explain that it’s time to explore an example of how one religion approaches money. Does anyone know anything about Zakat in Islam? 
  2. Tell everyone that Zakat is one of the five pillars (main beliefs and practices) of Islam. Zakat means that Muslims donate 2.5% of whatever they earn, over a certain amount, to charity. 
  3. Now, use one of the ways to show everyone what 2.5% looks like: 
  • The pile of play dough represents all of someone’s earnings. To find what Zakat would be, you need to find 2.5%. 
  • If you divide the pile into 10 equal bits, each bit will represent 10%. 
  • If you take one of the bits and break into four equal pieces, each piece will represent 2.5%.
  • You could break one of the 10% bits into four equal pieces by making it into a flat circle and drawing a cross to split in into quarters, or you could roll it into a sausage, halve it, and halve it again.
  • If everyone takes one of the smallest pieces of play dough, they’ll have 2.5% of the original pile. This represents Zakat, 2.5% of the earnings.
  • The pile of 100 chocolate buttons represents all of someone’s earnings. To find what Zakat would be, you need to find 2.5%.
  • 100 buttons is 100% (all) of the buttons. This means that each button represents 1% of the pile (because 100% divided by 100 buttons is 1%).
  • If each button is 1%, two and a half buttons is 2.5%.
  • Make sure everyone’s washed their hands before they touch any buttons.
  • If everyone takes two buttons and another half a button, they’ll have 2.5% of the original pile. This represents Zakat, 2.5% of the earnings.
  • Chocolate buttons, cupcakes, crackers or soft biscuits work well for this.
  • The pile of 10 chocolate buttons represents all of someone’s earnings. To find what Zakat would be, you need to find 2.5%. 
  • 10 buttons is 100% all of the buttons. This means that each button represents 10% of the pile (because 100% divided by 10 is 10%). 
  • If each button is 10%, a quarter of a button is 2.5% (because 10 divided by 4 is 2.5). 
  • Make sure everyone’s washed their hands before they touch any food.
  • If everyone takes a quarter of a button, they’ll have 2.5% of the original pile. This represents Zakat, 2.5% of the earnings. 


Working together to donate

  1. Everyone should compare their 2.5% pile to the original 100% pile. You should ask people if what it looks like or how they compare.
  2. Now, ask everyone to bring their 2.5% to the middle of the space and place them on a plate. You should now ask people again what it looks like and how it compares to the 100% piles.
  3. Explain that if lots of people donate a small amount, it can quickly add up and make a big difference.
  4. See if anyone can think of some ways you could all work together to make a bigger difference.
  5. If you used something tasty like chocolate buttons, you can eat them, especially if they might melt.


What does everyone think about what they’ve learned? 

As Scouts, helping others is an important part of our Promise. Donating money is just one of many ways to help others, and it’s a personal choice – there isn’t any right or wrong way to approach it. Has this activity made people think about what they might want to do with their money when they’re older? What would it feel like to give some money to charity? 

It’s important to remember that everyone’s situation will be different, and not everyone can afford to give money away – can people think of some other ways that they can support others?


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.


Remember to check for allergies, eating problems, fasting or dietary requirements and adjust the recipe as needed. Make sure you’ve suitable areas for storing and preparing food and avoid cross contamination of different foods. Take a look at our guidance on food safety and hygiene.

Active games

The game area should be free of hazards. Explain the rules of the game clearly and have a clear way to communicate that the game must stop when needed. Take a look at our guidance on running active games safely.

  • To help people, if cutting things up into quarters, you could suggest looking at a clock face. For example, one quarter looks like 15 minutes (or between the 12 and the 3). You could also have visual resources to help people.
  • Take a look at our guidance on active games to see ways you can adapt games to make them more accessible and inclusive.

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.

If you enjoyed this activity, you could try our other activities linked to Islam. You may want to look at our badges to do with World Faiths.

If you’ve any Muslim members in your group, you could offer them the opportunity to share their experiences, but only if they want to and are comfortable to do so. You may want to ask or chat to them before the session, so they don’t feel put on the spot or singled out.