Playing our part at the heart of the community has always been core to what we do as Scouts
Why does engaging with your community matter?
Whether you are looking for new funding sources or a space to meet, for new adults and young people to join the group, or for some external input to your programme, connecting with other local community groups is a great place to start.
Identifying and mapping your community
Understanding your current situation is the first step. Consider two topics: population and geography.
Ask yourself some questions:
- Does your group reflect the diversity of your local community?
- Is there a good mix of people from different backgrounds?
- How many young people live nearby?
- Who does your group matter most to? This will help you to identify your stakeholders.
You’ll find information on your local community on your local council website and the Office for National Statistics website.
Communities big and small will have a wide range of organisations operating within them. Why don’t you create a map or write a list? Consider the locations of the following:
- Education – schools, colleges, universities
- Business – local independents and big national chains
- Charities – including other Scout Groups and youth organisations
- Faith groups
- Local government and service providers.
Check out the short video below which tells you all about getting to know your community.
To watch in full screen, double click the video
Unsure where to start? Take a look at our hints and tips:
Visit our page on student recruitment to find out more about how to engage and make contact with universities and further education
Having contacts in local business opens your doors to many different opportunities. These can vary from town to city and villages. The key is knowing your community, and how and what you can do. We have created a guide to help you on your way. Whether that’s to gain new volunteers or help support a session to sponsorship
These might be easily identifiable by the building in which they meet. Others will be a little hidden and may need researching to locate and find contact details. Once you have established contact, members of faith communities could help you with name generation when looking to recruit new leaders or finding places to meet.
Take a look at our guidance on engaging with the Muslim community.
Planning authorities and developers may be in a position to support with the development of community buildings and facilities, creating opportunities for meeting places. They may be able to promote your Group in their home buyer welcome pack.
Google Maps and other online tools are great ways to identify charities that are in your area. Reaching out and making contact could help you both. They might be willing to assist with programme delivery in return for supporting their next fundraising event for example.
Parish, town, district or borough councils exist to support and serve their communities. Use the Find your local council tool on gov.uk to identify your local County and District/Borough (or equivalent). They may offer local grants, support with events or be able to help share news through their communication channels.
Local police, fire and rescue service and others may be able to help with programme resources, visits and provide networking opportunities.