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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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Blog | 02 May 2023

As Scouts keeps growing, hear our plans to reach even more young people


We’re steadily growing in all areas of Scouts across the UK. This is fantastic news - with more adult volunteers and Young Leaders, we can give more young people skills for life.

As we welcome new people to our movement, we’re focusing on being inclusive. We’re making sure we reach and involve all the amazing communities in the UK.  

Each year, we carry out a census (a nationwide survey) to understand the young people and adults in our membership. The census results help us give the right support to our volunteers and young people, by showing us how we can improve and where we should focus our attention.   

Two Squirrels wearing red jumpers hold hands while walking with another Squirrel and a Scout.

How we’re growing 

  • Young people growth: Overall, we’ve seen a 5.6% increase in young people (4–18 years old) compared to 2022, meaning we’re now giving an incredible 436,015 young people skills for life. 
  • Squirrels: The number of Squirrel Scouts have grown 216% since 2022. This makes sense, as we launched Squirrels in 2021. 
  • Young Leaders: We now have 17,716 Young Leaders – our target is 19,500 by 2025. 
  • Adult volunteer growth: The number of frontline adult leaders has grown by 4.5% from 2022 (that's Section Leaders, Assistant Section Leaders and Section Assistants), and this is slowly getting back to pre-pandemic levels. 

Where we’re heading 

We’re thrilled by how much we’ve grown over the past year, but we’re still hoping for more young people and volunteers to join us.  

Our real focus is to grow inclusively, so we can represent the UK population even more.  

Rather than focusing on where Scouts is already popular, we’re looking to grow in the areas with little or no Scouts provision. 

In our vision for 2025, we’re aiming for:  

  • 500 more sections created in areas of deprivation since 2018 
  • At least 5% of our adult volunteers from Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic backgrounds  

From looking at our census results, we still need to focus on these areas. We’ve got a total of 4,700 sections in areas of deprivation (IMD 1-3), and only 2.7% of volunteers from Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic backgrounds. 

Four Cubs smiling and looking at each other while sat around a table outside.

Next steps for inclusive growth 

We’ve shared the diversity data and membership figures for each of the County/Area/Regions (Scotland) with County/Area/Region (Scotland) Commissioners, so they can make their own plans to grow Scouts locally.  

We’ve encouraged them to compare their membership with the demographics of their areas. By doing so, they’ll be able to see if they reflect their local community, and where there’s room and opportunity to grow.   

We’re going to focus on starting Scouts in underrepresented areas, and recruiting more volunteers from Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic communities, and the Board of Trustees have allocated funds to employ dedicated Local Growth Officers to help accelerate this work.  

As always, we’ll keep sharing resources to help you grow locally. 

A group of Beavers running in a game across a field

Resources you can use today 

A big thank you to all our volunteers. You’re doing a great job at growing Scouts and giving more young people skills for life.  

Here are some resources to help us grow even more (especially in new areas) and encourage more young people and volunteers to join. 

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