Scouts are today launching #GoodForYou, a campaign designed to recruit over 5,000 volunteers. These volunteers are needed to help young people to reconnect with their peers, supporting their wellbeing and building their skills for life after a truly difficult year. The campaign will show potential volunteers how giving time to Scouts is good for them too – supporting their own skills, health and happiness, family and community. Learn more about #GoodForYou >
A fall in member and volunteer numbers
Between 2006 and 2020, Scouts membership went through a sustained period of growth, with nearly 200,000 new members.
However, in the past year, youth membership has fallen by 24.5% (down from 480,083 last year to 362,752) and adult volunteer numbers are also down, from 155,907 in 2020 to 140,810 for 2021.
Scout groups across the UK are now looking to build back better and empower the COVID generation when they need it most. To do this, Scouts need more adults to step up and volunteer to lead young people. Scout volunteers will create opportunities for young people to recover from the impacts of the pandemic by supporting their wellbeing and building the skills needed to succeed in life.
A more positive future
Matt Hyde, Scouts CEO, said: ‘Young people have lost out on so much in the past year and our membership numbers show how many were unable to continue with Scouts due to lockdown. The good news is they are coming back in droves, so we need more people to help us make sure young people can once again meet friends, have fun and fulfil their potential by learning skills for life. That’s why today we’re calling on people to volunteer for Scouts. Volunteering is good for communities, good for young people and good for you.’
Over the next six months, Scouts will be running a series of locally-focused recruitment campaigns. These will encourage new volunteers to join and invite young people and adults who drifted away during the pandemic to re-join.
Scouts will also create jobs for 66 young adults through the Government’s Kickstarter programme. These team members will work as development officers to support Scout groups to welcome new members.
Since the first lockdown, Scout volunteers have provided millions of hours of Zoom sessions, supported young people with at-home challenges like The Great Indoors and Hike to the Moon, and when restrictions have allowed, run socially-distanced meet ups.
Emma, an Explorer Scout from Ormskirk said: ‘Over the last year, my Explorer Scout Unit has helped me stay connected with my friends and community. I’ve camped in my garden and taken part in loads of activities on Zoom. Most importantly, I took the opportunity to run a weekly session for my local Beaver Scout Colony. It was great fun and helped them get through things as well. We all helped each other and I loved doing it.’
Louise Azavedo, a Scout volunteer from North London, said: ‘In my area, Scouts is a lifeline for those in areas of deprivation – during the pandemic, it became a beacon of normality for young people and help them keep a positive mental attitude during a difficult time. I know that Scouts helped me get through the last year as well. Scouts makes such a difference to young people’s lives in the long term, plus it’s a great way for adults to have fun too.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout, said: ‘The past year has been so tough for so many. And it’s also shown just how important it is for us to work together to help those in need. Scouts plays a fundamental role in the lives of thousands of young people and our goal is to build back our membership by welcoming thousands of new volunteers across the movement. As an adult volunteer you can help us continue to make an incredible contribution towards helping young people learn new skills for life. You’ll gain some great new skills, new friends and help empower young people to be prepared for their future.’