The UK Scout Association has launched its strategy for growth over the next five years, with the aim of equipping young people with the skills they need for life, and adding 50,000 more young people to its membership.
Skills for Life – details the vision and aims for the Movement in the UK, and is the result of two years of discussions with young people, volunteers and members of the public. The new strategy aims to help young people become skilled, active citizens and make a positive impact on society.
At the same time, the Scout Association has also refreshed its branding, releasing a new, pared-down logo that is designed to reflect the modern face of Scouting in a digital age.
“Scouting in the UK has experienced unprecedented growth in the last 13 years, with nearly half a million young people coming to Scouts each week to gain skills for life,” said Matt Hyde, Chief Executive of the Scouts. “This gives us a powerful and important role to play in local communities, as we continue our work to bring communities together and champion inclusiveness, social mobility and civic participation. This knowledge is at the heart of our new strategy, which is all about preparing young people for their futures by equipping them the skills that they need to succeed in life - practical skills, character skills and employability skills”.
The new strategy will focus on increasing access to Scouting to all young people regardless of their background – there are plans to start groups in 500 more areas of deprivation – ensuring young people are driving change, and making a bigger impact on all local communities.
Skills for Life includes a number of key initiatives:
· Greater support for volunteers: A renewed focus on improving volunteer recruitment, training and support, as well as recruiting more adults from a diverse range of backgrounds.
· Digital transformation: Major digital investment to aid programme planning and delivery for all groups, improving the consistency and ease of programme delivery for all Scouting members.
· Review and refresh of the programme for 14-25 year olds: Ensuring that programmes are youth-led, relevant and accessible to young people of all backgrounds, with a focus on employability and life skills.
· Explore an early years provision: Researching, piloting and evaluating different models to extend Scouting to children under the age of six.
· Inclusivity: Continue to ensure that the Scouts’ demographic better reflects UK society, with an aim to grow in another 500 areas of deprivation and under-representation, on top of the 834 groups established in similar areas over the last four years.
· Brand refresh: A new brand focused on skills for life as the key benefit of Scouting will be launched in conjunction with the new strategy. The new visual identity is designed to reflect the modern face of Scouting in a digital age, while retaining its strong heritage, including the fleur de lis.
UK Scouts will continue to champion major elements of the Scouts previous strategy, Scouting for All.
In particular, since Scouting for All was implemented in 2013, the number of female members has grown to more than 102,000 members, and the award-winning A Million Hands initiative, which has helped more than 250,000 young people make a positive contribution to their local communities working with national charities like the Alzheimer’s Society, Mind and WaterAid.