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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

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Underrepresented Communities Fund

£2.5million for inclusive growth

Last updated: 4 July 2023

  • Assessment in progress.

This fund will support local Scouting to accelerate our growth in underrepresented communities across the UK by employing dedicated Local Growth Officers to work with volunteers to open up new sections and recruit volunteers in communities where Scouting doesn't currently take place.

There is £2.5million available to create opportunities for young people in IMD 1-3 and volunteers from Black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities to join Scouts.

Who can apply?

England: Counties can apply for this fund (either independently or as part of a group of neighbouring Counties)

Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland: Nation HQs can apply for this fund

How much is available for English Counties to apply for?

There is c.£2million available to support applications for funding to employ Local Growth Officers working in English Counties.

Applications will be assessed against each other and only the most impactive will receive funding.

What can be applied for?

There are two different grants:

A County can receive only one of these grants. The Local Growth Officer Grant includes provision for start-up/project grants in the budget.

Local Growth Officer Grant

This grant contributes to the costs of employing Local Growth Officers. Staff can be employed through Scouts Growth & Communities Team OR through Local Scouting.

Apply for the Local Growth Officer Grant

New Provision Project Grant

This grant covers anything that isn't employing staff or associated costs. We want you to think creatively. What are the barriers to achieving Inclusive Growth locally?

Apply for the New Provision Project Grant

Closing dates

English Counties can submit one application:

  • Applications open: Midday on Tuesday 25 April 2023
  • Applications close: Midday on Monday 19 June 2023

In Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, each grant will be awarded to the Nation itself therefore there is no closing date for applications.


The Scout Grants Committee approves the Fund, delegates operational authority to the Inclusive Growth Delivery Group, maintains oversight of progress against Inclusive Growth targets, and takes decisions on matters escalated by the Delivery Group.

The Inclusive Growth Delivery Group oversees the assessment and operation of local growth projects, including reporting to the Scout Grants Committee. It comprises a number of key staff and volunteers involved in leading this work.

  1. Scout Grants Committee
  2. Inclusive Growth Delivery Group
  3. Local Underrepresented Communities Project Steering Groups working with the Scouts Growth & Communities Team

Underrepresented Communities Project Steering Groups work with the Scouts Growth & Communities Team to ensure operation within grant agreements. They report to the Inclusive Growth Delivery Group.

Underrepresented Communities Project Steering Groups must comprise:

  • A Chair for the Steering Group*
  • Someone who can capture notes from discussions and record actions
  • Someone who can represent the County Leadership Team (e.g. County Commissioner or Deputy County Commissioner)
  • Volunteers with responsibility for growth from the relevant Districts where the projects are taking place
  • Line manager for the assigned staff (this will be the Local Growth Operations Manager if the staff are employed through the Growth & Communities Team)
  • At least one young adult aged 18-25 if any of the above are not within this age range
  • Local Growth Officer(s) employed by the project (optional as appropriate)


The Inclusive Growth Delivery Group will make a recommendation to the Scout Grants Committee.

Recommendations could include changing targets, amending the funding schedule, or withdrawing the grant.


This scheme is wholly funded by the Skills for Life Fund. Changes to the scheme’s current purpose, limits, and restrictions may be made at any time.

This grant is available only through the Scout Grants Committee via English Counties and the Devolved Nations.

Status: In Assessment

Applications are currently in assessment.

Our vision for equity, diversity and inclusion

We're encouraging more people from diverse backgrounds to join and thrive in Scouts. 

Read more about our vision

Furthering Reach

Thinking about the way we further reach in our own communities.

Check out our furthering reach toolkit

Growing Scouts

Grow your Group and get the most out of the Scouts experience.

Learn more about growing your group

Local Support

Supporting key line managers in growing and developing Scouting at a local level. 

Find out more about our Growth & Communities Team