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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

Discover what this means

Supporting Trans Adults and Volunteers

Supporting Trans Adults and Volunteers

To support trans volunteers or adults in Scouts, you can:

  • Respect the person’s rights and privacy.
  • Reassure the person that you'll support them and ask how you can do this. Don’t be afraid to ask respectful questions about how you can support them.
  • Be sensitive and empathetic. Remember the volunteer or adult may be worried about your reaction, or have had negative responses in the past.
  • Don't share information about the person’s gender identity, unless at the specific request and agreement of the person. Doing so will put you at risk of breaking the law.
  • Ensure you use the person’s correct name and pronouns. If you’re unsure, ask. Deal with any mistakes sensitively and simply correct yourself.
  • If needed, you can seek support, information or guidance without revealing the person’s name/identity.
  • Support and discuss with the volunteer or adult how best to respond to any questions or comments from other volunteers, adults or young people.

Be aware that some countries are not as open as the UK, legally and culturally.

In some countries, it's illegal to be or identify as transgender.

You need to check the laws for the county before you visit, and plan ahead.

A current adult or volunteer may inform you that they will be changing their physical appearance to align with their gender identity. Some preparation and planning may be needed to support the volunteer.

You might discuss a range of options, including:

  • remaining at the same section or unit, and if so how and when to communicate any changes to other members,
  • taking a break for a number of weeks or months before returning to the Section/Unit,
  • if the adult or volunteer is uncomfortable remaining within the same section/unit, they may wish to move to a different section/unit, where they can be introduced as their gender identity.

Remember to update all communication and records to the volunteer’s correct name and pronouns. You don’t need to ask for proof or documentation of any kind to do this.

It may be appropriate or necessary to plan (with the volunteer) a discussion with young people or parents/carers in the section/unit. In this case, discuss and consider:

  • who the volunteer is comfortable confiding in and what information they are happy to share,
  • who will respond to any challenging or personal questions,
  • existing awareness within the section/unit and the age and dynamics of the young people.

For further support or guidance on specific situations, please contact the Scout Support Centre on 0845 300 1818 or

Remember that you can seek advice without revealing the person’s name/identity.

Volunteers should be reminded of their commitment to the Equal Opportunities Policy and their line manager should support them to change their practice.

Often, taking steps to raise awareness or understanding can help. This could involve discussion, or it may be useful to arrange an awareness raising session in your District/County. 

Our National Inclusion Team may be able to support you with this.

It's the responsibility of all adults to act as role models by celebrating diversity and creating a safe, inclusive environment in which all members can enjoy Scouts.