Skip to main content

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
Blog | 15 October 2019

How our early years pilots are helping to bring in new volunteers across the board


With early years pilots underway across England, Tim Kidd took a trip to 13th Southampton Sea Scout Group to explore how these trials may help to open up opportunities for us to welcome new adult volunteers to Scouts, and give four and five year olds the tools they need develop skills for life.

Tim Kidd visiting an early years pilot
Tim Kidd visiting an early years pilot

Tim went along to the group’s welcome session, where young people took part in engaging storytelling, a bird-feeder-crafting activity, a couple of games and a sing-along. The session ended with a closing ceremony, where Tim was able to present everyone with a certificate and stickers to celebrate how well they’d done.

Later, he took time to chat to the leadership team about the pilot and ask how they thought it was going.

‘It was fascinating to see the pilots in action and talk to the leaders about the progress.’ Tim said ‘The children and volunteers were very enthusiastic, but we’ve got to look at the results of the pilots.’

Collectively, the pilots in England have led to 74 new volunteers joining us so far. That’s 20 more than we’d originally planned.

On the ground at 13th Southampton, they’ve managed to recruit two leaders into the pilot – one of whom is completely new to Scouts – as well as two part-time helpers and a new Assistant Cub Section Leader.

Three additional adults have also become members of the Executive Committee, with two of these taking up gardening tasks to help keep the outdoor area fit for activities.

Frankii Newbery, who supports groups taking part in early years pilots, considers what we’ve learnt about volunteer recruitment so far.

‘The early years pilots have presented a great opportunity to get to know families more.’ She says. ‘For a lot of parents and carers, taking their children to a Scout meeting will be their first experience of leaving them outside of an educational or childcare setting, or with family and friends. Because they usually stay and chat, we’ve been able to identify areas where they can lend a hand. As a result, we’re seeing many parents take up tasks and even getting involved with roles outside of the pilots, because they’ve had that little bit of extra communication and involvement with us.’

13th Southampton has used a range of recruitment techniques and helped us test Scouts for four and five-year olds, which has benefited the whole group.

Group Scout Leader Amanda has been supporting the leaders and youngsters: ‘I’ve seen a significant difference in everyone – they’ve grown in confidence, developed skills and supported one another.’

Tim Kidd summarised: ‘I was impressed with the quality of the programme and the level of interest from adults wanting to get involved. We’re still exploring if this is right for Scouts, but what I’ve seen is promising’.

If you’d like to know more about the early years pilots, sign up for our next live webinars on Thursday 7 November and Thursday 5 December.

Share this story