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Blog | 21 October 2019

We’re partnering with charities to change the world


Young people choose six new themes, supported by a range of national charities, to tackle as part of Scouts’ A Million Hands community impact project. As Scouts, we’re always striving to make a positive difference to the world. Over the last one hundred years, the issues we’ve tackled have evolved and changed, but our young people’s drive to make a positive impact remains constant.


Our young people are the optimists, the change-makers and the make-it-happen-ers. We want to help them to make that positive impact on the issues that matter to them, which is why we launched A Million Hands – our social action programme to give half a million young people the support they need to make a difference in their communities. In the four years since we launched A Million Hands, over 135,000 Community Impact badges have been ordered (as of June 2019) representing over 960,000 hours of action. That’s almost a million hours spent helping people.

A Million Hands works by linking Scouts with various charities to look at themes, or topics affecting society, and to work out how we can make a positive difference in them. The previous themes were clean water and sanitation with WaterAid, dementia with Alzheimer’s Society, emotional wellbeing with Mind, disability with Leonard Cheshire and Guide Dogs, and assisting with all of these themes was the Canal & River Trust.

Our young people have now chosen to work on six new themes, which are:

  • protecting our environment (with WWF),
  • fostering kindness in every community (with the British Red Cross),
  • ending homelessness (with Crisis and the Simon Community),
  • supporting refugees and displaced children (with Save the Children),
  • understanding disability (with the National Autistic Society), and
  • achieving better mental health for all (with Mind, SAMH and Inspire).

Campaign champion, Scout Ambassador and astronaut, Tim Peake, praised the latest campaigns and encouraged more Scouts to get involved by saying, ‘I’ve had the privilege to see Planet Earth from 400 kilometres up. It’s an incredible sight. Through the space station’s cupola window you can see clearly for thousands of miles across the Earth’s surface in all directions. The campaign is about raising awareness across six themes. And what’s so exciting is that they’re chosen by young people themselves. Over the last one hundred years, the issues we’ve tackled have changed, but our young people’s drive to make a positive impact remains as strong as ever.’

Sam Murphy, one of the young people that selected the themes said, ‘Scouts make people question and listen and have a wide open mind, we take a deep breath and take action on things that are important to us.  I believe that homelessness isn’t inevitable. However, it’s seen in communities on an almost daily basis and that’s only street homelessness which accounts for a small percentage of people who are without a stable home. When a person is without a stable home they are impacted by so much more than just the weather and that’s what people forget.’

Members can start to make their own difference right now by visiting to learn more about the themes and the charity partners.

By working together on A Million Hands, we can help bring people together, connect communities and live out our promise of leaving the world a little better than we found it.

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