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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

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Update | 01 August 2023

Funding the movement and the membership fee for 2024-25


Each year, we update you on the position of the UK HQ finances and announce the UK HQ membership fee for the upcoming year.

Over the last year, we’ve been transparent around some of the challenges we’ve faced around our finances. As always, our aim remains to operate within our best possible operational model.

Our main source of income comes from the UK HQ membership fee, paid by our youth members. Over the last year, we saw a 5.6% increase in our total youth membership (4-18 year olds). It’s great news that we are seeing numbers bounce back towards pre-pandemic membership, but it is also lower at this stage than we had accounted for.

It’s because of this that we need to account for cost pressures in our operational budget and continue to invest in our Skills for Life plan to make sure we’re reaching out and welcoming more volunteers, and in turn offering more young people the opportunity to enjoy Scouts.

A group of Beavers in blue jumpers and yellow neckers run across grass while playing a game.

The plan remains to return to balance our books and have a marginal surplus by 2025-26, but we do need to consider the additional cost pressures which we face.

In previous years, we’ve explained how we’re retaining 12 months of operating costs to protect the movement against any future events which could affect us in a similar scale to the pandemic, this amounts to £29 million. We have also committed £8 million to invest in our Skills for Life plan which we’ll start to see coming into effect later this year and in early 2024 depending on your area.

Our aim is always to make sure we’re well placed to support the resurgence of the movement where young people need us most. This is particularly true for those families disproportionately impacted by the cost of living crisis and the volatile economic environment.

So we must make sure we keep our frontline support, while continuing to maintain and enhance services as membership numbers bounce back. We also need to make sure we maintain our investment to keep our young people safe as a priority. It’s for this reason the UK HQ membership fee will be increasing for 2024-25.

UK HQ Membership fee 2024-25

Our UK HQ membership fee is vital. It covers essential ongoing costs to support you, such as helping to cover increasing operating costs to manage safety and safeguarding. The fee also goes to support services such as programme, volunteer training and insurance for all members. You can view full details on how the fee is spent.

The UK HQ membership fee for 2024-25 will be increased by £2 to £38 per youth member. Half of this increase is to cover the increased cost of our annual operating costs, and the other half will be used to invest in our ongoing safeguarding and safety functions and provision for local assurance.

We will continue to offer the 50p prompt payment discount, so if we receive payment by 23 April 2024 the amount paid per youth member will be £37.50.

An increase is never positive news, especially in the current climate. We know everyone is significantly feeling the pressure from inflation on the prices of everyday items. We have done all we can to make this increase below the current rate of inflation and we have taken every action to make sure it stays that way.

It’s also important to note that this fee relates to the services provided directly by the UK Headquarters.

Each Nation HQ, County/Area/Region, District and Group will review their own financial situation, so the amount you pay per youth member may differ and will depend on your area. We’re sure you’ll hear about the membership fee you have to pay for your area soon.

This increase, which is below current inflation rates, will help us continue to offer our support whilst helping us retain a stable financial position for the long term. It will also help us to make sure we’re providing the safest possible environment for our young people.

We’d like to thank each and every adult volunteer for the support and guidance you offer to our young people. We’re aware of the impact this is likely to have on some families and have guidance online to help you have conversations with parents/carers and where to look for support.

It continues to be a challenging time, with rising costs affecting families and individuals across the UK. We’re always committed to support our brilliant volunteers, and offer our young people the opportunity to gain skills for life in fun and safe environments.

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