Supporting Young Leaders through our work in the Early Years
With the support of #iwill Fund, we will start the roll out of Scouting for 4 and 5 year olds in a section called Squirrels. Young Leaders (aged 14-18) will be supported to volunteer their time with Squirrels, whilst building their own skills for life as they transition into adulthood. The Young Leaders will provide the lead for high quality youth social action within the new units supporting the Squirrel Scouts to take action that leads to improvements in their community.
With the support of the #iwill Fund we are developing new tools to support local Scouting to recruit more adult volunteers and Young Leaders including those from hard-to-reach communities. Over the period of the funding, we will open 850 Squirrel Scout units, 11,000 children (4/5-year-olds) and 850 Young Leaders (14/18-year-olds).
Through the support of the #iwillFund, any funding or donations made towards the Squirrels roll out will be match funded by them up to £1.2 million until April 2023. This means all donations received for the Squirrels programme will be doubled until this date, helping us reach the communities most in need.
About #iwill Fund
The #iwill Fund is made possible thanks to £50 million joint investment from The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to support young people to access high quality social action opportunities. The Scout Association is acting as a match funder and awarding grants on behalf of the #iwill Fund.
Please note: Scout Groups do not have permission to start early years’ provision outside of these pilots. Unofficial provision is against Scouting rules and it could affect the results of the pilots and is not insured.
If you've decided that you'd like start a new Squirrels provision and have completed the readiness checklist, please complete this form to express your interest. This should be done by Group Scout Leaders and the District Commissioner will then carry out a final review.
Interested in supporting the Scouts?
Contact the Trusts team to learn more about our partnerships with trusts and foundations, and to explore how your trust could support our work. We'd be delighted to hear from you.
- Don’t start Scouts for four and five year olds locally. Unofficial provision is against our rules and isn’t insured. NI Squirrels isn’t affected.
- If you’ve got questions, check out our new FAQs in the first instance.