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s u Foc ine for The magaaznagers volunteerinmScouting 2011 April/May

‘Raising our profile was essential’

An awards night with a difference

Funding round-up

What the Development Grants Board has meant for local Scouting

S M R A N I S T L ADU ecial p s t n e m t i u recr A volunteer


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Published by The Adult Support Team The Scout Association Gilwell Park, Bury Road Chingford, London E4 7QW


Quarter masters

Contributions to ADVERTISING Richard Ellacott Tel: 020 8962 1258 Contributors Tim Kidd, Jean Marshall, Laura McManus, James Newton Cover photo: Peter Howard County: Although in some parts of the British Isles Scout Counties are known as Areas or Islands – and in one case Bailiwick – for ease of reading this publication simply refers to County/Counties. In Scotland there is no direct equivalent to County or Area. In Scotland, Scouting is organised into Districts and Regions, each with distinct responsibilities. Some ‘County’ functions are the responsibility of Scottish Regions, whilst others lie with Scottish Districts. The focus of responsibility is outlined in Scottish variations from POR. Adult Support Team The Scout Association, Gilwell Park, Chingford; London E4 7QW; Tel: 0845 300 1818 email

Download all section supplements at


for azine s ager The mag r man ting voluntee in Scouy 2011 April/Ma

The magazine Scout Leaders for ExplorerApril/May 2011

ne The magazi Leaders for Scout ay 2011 April/M When the plan goes pear-shaped


profile ‘Raising our tial’ was essennight

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Focus on the Young Leaders’ Scheme

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Development What the has meant for g Grants Board local Scoutin Programmes

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Flexible growth Recruit adults by letting them volunteer their way


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James Newton bids farewell as he embarks on a personal adventure to work on the World Scout Jamboree. Here, he introduces his final Focus Welcome to the April/May edition of Focus. Can you believe that we are already a quarter of the way through 2011? In this edition District Commissioner Steve French highlights some developments that are being made in Croydon and how they recognise the hard work that their adult volunteers do for Scouting. We take a look at some of the key issues surrounding adult recruitment, such as how we approach prospective volunteers and ensure that they are given a suitable role fitted around them. We also highlight tools available to improve public perception of Scouting – such as The Scout Association’s Print Centre. And if that wasn’t enough you can read about our new charity partnership with Bookbridge. Not only will it help children in developing countries but it also develops the profile of local Scouting and builds relationships with other organisations in your community. Sadly this will be the last edition edited by myself as I am heading off to Sweden for six months to help preparations for the World Scout Jamboree. It has been an absolute pleasure producing Focus.

Get in touch


... your own Group or County logo /bra nd

How has the first quarter of your Scouting year gone? We would love to hear your stories; have you had any recent successes with recruitment? Do you have any innovative ideas for conducting reviews? Are you running a Big Adventure this summer? Or are there any topics you would like to hear more on? If so please drop the team an email at

In Focus 4 Recruitment special Six pages devoted to attracting and retaining adult volunteers

11 ‘How we raised the profile of Scouting’ A District Commissioner’s idea to celebrate his volunteers


/2011 17:08FocusSuppFINAL.indd 3 1 16:06:49

12 Off the shelf A new partnership that helps children in developing countries

13 There’s always room for another...

14 Opinion Chief Commissioner for England Tim Kidd on why pushing the boat out matters

Celebrating ten years of the Development Grants Board


09/03/2011 17:53

Attracting and retaining adult volunteers is one of our key challenges. In this special report we look at identifying the right role for the individual, interview a District Commissioner about a recruitment campaign and provide some tips and tools to make sure nt e m t your promotional materials reflect i u r c Re the quality of your Scouting. l a i c e


Face facts

What springs to mind when you think about volunteering for Scouting? Most people will assume young people and leaders working with young people. But there’s a variety of roles out there. Jean Marshall offers some advice on recruiting to these positions


hose not involved with Scouting, and even some of our parents, often do not realise that Scouting has far more volunteer roles to offer than that of being a leader or working with young people. The public – and sometimes parents – often only see and interact with the adults who are working with our Scouts. However, it is important to show the range of opportunities available and skills needed within a Group, District or County in order for us to be able to provide our young people with this fun, challenge and adventure.

A wide range of roles Scouting offers a wide range of roles for those who would prefer to volunteer alongside other adults. Your role as a volunteer manager is just one example. Appointments supporting adults can also be very flexible. An appointment as a Training Adviser could require as little commitment as one meeting a month while still providing valuable support to an adult leader. There are also other 4

adult focused roles such as Joining List Managers, Joining Enquiry Co-ordinators and Scout Active Support members which do not require specialist skills, only a willingness to help and an ability to organise. This is why it is important to discuss with new and potential volunteers what they can bring to, and get out of, volunteering and then identify a role in the Group, District or County that fits around them. This can be quite exciting, especially if you are able to think creatively in order to make the best use of people’s skills. For example, an adult with expertise in IT may be willing to support the development or maintenance of a website. Someone with skills in marketing and PR could help with promoting Scouting in the local community. Parents with project management skills may be interested in organising an event or camp and those adults with sales or retail experience may be willing to help with recruitment of adults or fundraising. The list is endless and, given the nature of Scouting, with a little imagination and vision any combination of skills and expertise could be put to good use.

Focus April/May 2011

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Recruitment special

Recruiting to the Executive Although there are a variety of roles or tasks in the sections, such as subs collection, taking the register, looking after badge work, and section administration, that do not necessarily involve interaction with the young people, some of the most important adult facing roles form part of the Executive Committee.

Adult facing roles are a big part of Scouting

It is important that we spend time with potential new members to ensure that they understand their role and are comfortable with the responsibilities that they have agreed to take on. If they agree to adopt a position, they should be welcomed and supported so that they can enjoy carrying it out.

Top tips for recruiting to adult facing roles

1) Plan any recruitment process 2) Be clear about the requirements of the role and what flexibility it offers 3) Make use of free advertising locally, such as your local volunteer centre and use websites specifically for recruiting volunteers or trustees. 4) Think outside the box in order to make the best use of people’s skills. 5) Ensure new people receive a genuine, positive and enthusiastic welcome, take time to speak with them and make sure that they feel comfortable and understand their role.

Often recruiting Executive Members is left until the Annual General Meeting (AGM), where there is an expectation on the audience to volunteer, without any prior communication or understanding of what the role or task involves. It is much better to prepare beforehand and to have spoken to potential volunteers about the role. This will mean that the AGM is straightforward and there are no awkward silences if nobody volunteers on the spot. It is also a good idea to hold the AGM as part of another event that parents/guardians are attending such as a Big Adventure or an event that showcases Scouting, where members of the local community are invited as well. It is important when looking to recruit people to the Executive Committee that vacant roles or tasks are identified, along with the skills needed to fulfil the requirements. This information can then be used to advertise the vacancies either internally, such as within the Group, District or County or externally, ie within the local community. There are many ways that you can do this. For example, display a vacancy board at your meeting place, send a mail shot to all adult members of the District or County and make use of websites such as or to advertise any vacancies. There are also professional associations that offer charities free advertising on their job vacancy pages. The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales is a good place to advertise for a Treasurer. This provides access to people who may be looking for voluntary work, while studying and may need experience. Guides for Group Executive members are available to download from or ordered from the Scout Information Centre. The guides can help in the induction process to explain the roles and the responsibilities.


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Know your volunteers

ent Recruitm Special

A recent report shows that nearly 90 per cent of adult volunteers are recruited into sectional roles. Most of these adults are either parents of youth members, or have been youth members. Laura McManus does the maths and recommends ways to translate these figures into more volunteers

1. Parents More than 40 per cent of new volunteers to section roles (Section Leaders, Assistant Section Leaders and Section Assistants) are parents of youth Members, or prospective youth Members. Our research identified that parent rotas are a particularly effective method of getting parents initially involved in Scouting, while residential events such as camps were a successful way to turn occasional involvement into more sustained volunteering. Nearly 60 per cent of non-volunteers say ‘lack of time’ is the main reason why they do not volunteer. It may be tempting to focus on filling vacant roles, but it is important to remember that roles should be tailored to fit the individual’s interests, skills and availability, rather than pushing an individual into an existing role.

TIP: Use rotas and residential experiences to offer adults a flexible way to support Scouting. Look at more adaptable ways to fill your current vacancies, such as reallocating 6

current resources or have two people undertake the required tasks.

2. Recruiting volunteers from within Scouting Another 40-45 per cent of new adult volunteers come from within Scouting, typically Explorer Scout Young Leaders who take on an adult appointment when they turn 18. Evidence also indicates that the volunteers from this source often develop a lifelong commitment to The Scout Association.

TIP: Do you know when the Young Leaders in your Group turn 18? Even if they are going away to University, it is likely they will return and be interested in helping. Discuss with them their options for remaining involved as an adult, and think about how you can fit a role around their current commitments.

Focus April/May 2011

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Recruitment special

3. Other sources The remaining group of new volunteers to Sectional roles come from a variety of avenues, including people simply interested in volunteering in the youth sector or seeking youth work experience to boost their CV. A significant portion have had some previous involvement with Scouting. In many cases they are former youth members, are the friends or relatives of existing adult volunteers, have links with an associated community group (such as a church or other sponsoring authority) or have had some other contact with Scouting such as through membership of GirlGuiding UK. Critically, the research shows that one third of those people with some form of connection with Scouting would consider volunteering.

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TIP: Encourage existing leaders to bring their friends or colleagues. Is there still a record of who the Scouts were ten years ago? How about inviting them back to visit the Group?

about the research The research featured in this article is from a range of internal and external studies carried out. The findings can be read in The Scout Association’s Recruitment and Retention Strategy, available on request from the Adult Support office


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A local campaign

ent Recruitm Special

Eastleigh District had a shortage of adult volunteers. But would their ambitious two-week District-wide recruitment drive work? Focus asks District Commissioner Jim Vaughan the questions

F: Tell us about your campaign J: We designed it to be targeted at recruiting new adult volunteers, and also to be co-ordinated with our District Development Plan. The campaign ran over a fortnight period with the main recruitment day in the middle – Saturday 6 November. Over 20,000 leaflets were printed (designed using the national Print Centre, half for door-to-door distribution and the remainder for Groups and for the launch day. They highlighted the fact we’d grown nine per cent in the last year and encouraged people to be part of the success.

For the launch day, posters and balloons were printed, the climbing wall booked, the website upgraded and all risk assessments carried out In advance of the campaign we held a meeting to which we invited each Group to bring three representatives. Groups were encouraged to think wider than the Group Scout Leader.At the meeting we handed out boxes of the parent pack Where Did All That Mud Come From? as well as the leaflets. The Regional Development Service did a presentation, which helped put our campaign in the wider context of where the Movement is going. For the launch day, posters and balloons were printed, the climbing wall and County trailer booked, the website upgraded – and all necessary risk assessments carried out.


F: What happened at the recruitment day? J: Explorer Scouts were to be the face of the campaign so we trained them on how to approach people and catch their eye. We also needed to give them media training, so we involved the County Training Team. We downloaded and printed some factsheets from on selling Scouting. On the Friday before our main recruitment day, leaders distributed leaflets door-to-door across the District. We also had awareness stalls in local shopping centres. Following our main campaign day, all parents associated with Scouting in the District were given a parent pack. We then supported each Group to follow these up and recruit new adult volunteers from the parents. F: How successful was it? J: We got the names of 40 adults interested in volunteering, including four who signed up to be leaders. A number of parents were keen to volunteer if their child could join. We looked at local Groups with joining lists, and assigned them to the most appropriate Group where parent and child could join the adventure. We also had younger leaders and Explorer Scouts fronting this, which was important to us. F: Do you think having one big recruitment event is essential? J: The public recruitment event did introduce us to a lot of adults who wouldn’t necessarily think of volunteering for Scouting.

Focus April/May 2011

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Recruitment special

The launch day was fun as well as successful

As well as recruiting more volunteers, the event left all our current volunteers with a really good buzz and that has been good for the whole District – a realisation for everyone that we are doing this together. It was also an awareness campaign and a good PR exercise. The leaflet distribution resulted in people not already involved in Scouting remarking that they had received our leaflets. It was good to let everyone know that the District had grown nine per cent the year before – that’s an exceptionally good message to get across.

The event left all our current volunteers with a really good buzz and that has been good for the whole District F: What would you do differently? J: We would do more training for leaders on selling Scouting to the general public. It’s hard to confidently approach strangers, engage them in conversation and find out if they’d like to join. I also think we’d try and run the campaign earlier. We did it in early November and the follow-up to adults happened around Christmas, and the snowy period, which stopped momentum. We only started picking it up again in January. If we had done it in October, we could have got it all done before Christmas.

What we know now

1) The key is Group involvement and support. Every Group had a potential of at least three new volunteers, sometimes more. As a District, our job is to keep supporting and encouraging Groups, to say ‘OK, you’ve made the phone call, make another one and invite them along’ and so on. 2) That it was a team effort. 3) Although we have 40 names of potential new volunteers, they won’t all become volunteers. We are realistic in hoping that if we manage to recruit half of this number it will be have been worth it. 4) It has energised the District – it’s been a project that has got the District working together on an initiative that will make a difference.

On brand leaflets Jim used the parent pack, available from The team also designed their leaflets on The Scout Association’s Print Centre (see page 10)

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ent Recruitm Special

Stand out from the crowd There are over 160,000 charities in the UK, all making demands on people’s time and money. That’s why it’s even more important to show why Scouting is different. Chris James explains some simple tips to cut through the noise


uring a walk down the high street, you are likely to be bombarded with over a thousand different logos, messages and slogans. Businesses and charities are becoming increasingly sophisticated at marketing and making themselves heard. So how can we make Scouting stand out from the crowd?

1. Be clear We need to be clear about who we are and what we do. We provide fun, challenge and everyday adventure to over 400,000 young people across the UK. Fun and friendship are the reasons people join and stay in Scouting. We are inclusive, confident about what we do and trusted by nearly a million parents each week. Any message should reflect these values.

2. Be consistent So that everyone knows we are part of the same Movement, it’s vital we share a similar look and feel. Wherever possible, we now use the single colour purple logo to represent our Movement. You can create your own local version of the logo free of charge at The Scout Association’s Print Centre

3. Be inclusive Scouting is open to everyone, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, or ability – anyone who accepts our principles can be a Scout. Are you doing everything you can to promote this? Ensure that all publications reflect these values.

4. Be surprising If people in your area still think that Scouting is all about knobbly knees, big hats and woggles, surprise them with a few facts. Did they know that we have been growing for the last five years? Or that most people are no more than a mile from their nearest Scout meeting place and that we offer more than 200 activities? At your next meeting, presentation or AGM show the video ‘Think You Know Scouting? Think Again.’ It’s Scouting in a nutshell and can help when recruiting more adult volunteers. Download it from

5. Be proud It’s our passion for Scouting that makes us different; let’s talk to the others about it because in the end it’s your enthusiasm that will inspire others to join the adventure.

6. Tools and resources

Why stop at promotional flyers?


For Scout posters, flyers and banners that you can personalise and print, log into our print centre on You’ll also find images, quotes, and videos which you can use in your local communications.

Focus April/May 2011

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‘How we raised the profile of Scouting’ You’ve got your volunteers but how do you keep them? District Commissioner in Croydon Steve French shares his District’s bright idea


hen I started out as District Commissioner in 2009 we had a strong and established Executive Committee. Several sub-committees offering support in areas like PR and Development, Group Asset Registers had been introduced and regular Group Scout Leader and Executive workshops were being run to support Groups with development plans, Group management and administration. We also established a District Safety sub-committee providing much needed health and safety support to our Groups. However our communication and profile were still areas that needed major improvement.

Simple solutions We created a new website to promote the brand and give Groups and sections the opportunity to create and submit local articles to the District homepage. For maximum communication opportunity we linked the District directory to the site and created a ‘find your local Group’ facility for new visitors. We made HQ, County and District documents available as downloads and we currently email about 90 per cent of all correspondence. We also work in conjunction with the local Voluntary Action office, advertise Scouting in local schools, colleges and magazines and volunteer positions on We now have a dedicated team that responds to and manages all joining enquiries. All these measures helped us to improve communication within the District.

Raising our profile We developed relationships with the Council and youth office. We increased our engagement and support of local

community open days, fairs and carnivals advertising Scouting wherever we could. Another major initiative was our District Awards Night, which began in October 2009. It was a high profile event in a prestigious venue, and all adult members in the District were invited, with corporate sponsorship helping towards the cost. It was an opportunity for us to show how much we value and appreciate the work of our adult members. Three main award categories were set: Development, Achievement and Best Practice, which captured the most important values associated with quality Scouting in Croydon. Over 150 members attended, and we received a lot of community support. In October 2010 we held our second awards night. UK Chief Commissioner Wayne Bulpitt flew in from Guernsey to present a new local annual prize called the ‘Chief Commissioner’s Award’. This will be awarded to the leader or leaders who had made the greatest contribution to Croydon Scouting during 2010.

An excellence to aspire to Our awards night helps us to recognise and reward Groups and their leadership teams and thereby create a level of excellence for others to aspire to.

Share your experience Do you have a story about any challenges you have overcome as a manager in Scouting? Email

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Off the shelf Books are a crucial part of any education system but in many developing countries access to books is limited. A new partnership with Bookbridge, a small charity set up by Scouts in Germany, means your Groups, Units or Networks can help improve education in countries in need


he partnership gives young people an easy way to help their less fortunate counterparts across the world and fulfil their promise to ‘help other people’. The focus of the partnership is a book collection in June (see page 68 of Scouting magazine for more details) which will also be backed up by activity ideas on Programmes Online. These provide leaders with the opportunity to run activities in the Global Programme Zone – which has been identified as particularly challenging to deliver. We aim to follow them up with stories online about how the books donated are being used in Cambodia once they arrive.

About Bookbridge Its aim is to establish partnerships with local communities in developing countries to improve the opportunities for young people to access English language education.

How does this involve Groups/Districts/ Counties/Regions? The collection is a great opportunity for people to work together to make things happen. Whether it’s across sections within a Group or Districts within a County/ Region. As managers, you are the people who can help put people in touch with each other – the better the network of people taking part in the book collection the easier it will be for Scouts to donate books and therefore the more successful it will be. 12

It is also an opportunity for Scouts to link with other groups and organisations in their local community. You could ask other organisations to help collect books and leave them at a Scout collection centre – raising awareness of the good work Scouting does and the positive role you play in the community. This is a great way to meet community leaders and, who knows, some of them might want to volunteer with you again in the future?

What can I do? • Promote and encourage the collection to leaders within your Group, District or County. • Do you know any Groups that have a Scout van? Perhaps you could ask them to organise a local door-to-door collection of books. • Find a location for a collection centre in your local area and register it with Bookbridge. • Encourage leaders to run some of the activities with their sections to help deliver the Global Programme. • Let Explorer and Network members know they can help with the national sorting in July. • Hold a book collection at an event/camp.

get involved Programme ideas for Scouts: General information:                                    Book collection points:

Focus April/May 2011

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There’s always room for another... ons learned from Achievements, challenges and less ent Grants Board projects across the UK, by Developm Manager Bruce Murdoch


stablished in 2001, the Development Grants Board, or the ‘DGB’, administers a range of funds to support the growth of Scouting across the UK. This includes ‘to receive applications and distribute grants for the development of local Scouting and to provide occasional personal bursaries.’ A major element of the board’s work has been the provision of large grants supporting three-year projects, including the employment of a Local Development Officer, and sometimes a second portion of funding up to a maximum of six years. The last decade has been hugely successful and we are currently supporting 28 projects across the UK, employing around 40 staff.

Real stories, real impact Ten case studies are available online, providing a range of examples of the development work which has been carried out through these grants – their achievements and challenges, lessons they have learnt about the recruitment and retention of volunteers, as well as some detail of costs

For i ng d n fu raisee s s idea f p ag e 3 8 o g Scoutin magazine

and local contacts. To view the case studies visit All the projects featured are happy to be contacted and to share their experiences with others. Please share this information with those who are responsible for developing Scouting in your area or those who maybe thinking about starting up any similar projects. It has been a big commitment for all the projects concerned and we must give a huge thank you to all those who have given of their time in shaping the future of Scouting.

Call the funds If you have a general enquiry about available funds, call the Scout Information Centre 0845 300 1818 or Development Grants Board Administrator Paula Binet on 020 8433 7121.

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09/03/2011 17:55

Tim Kidd The Chief Commissioner for England on why pushing the boat out matters


he articles in this issue of Focus are all about reaching out – about Scouting being strong enough to engage with others. This can be a scary move at times; to properly work with others and to admit that you might be able to improve things takes courage. Mind you, if you try it, the rewards can be enormous.

How open is your local Scouting to others and to new ideas? I am reminded of a Baden-Powell quote when he talked of Patrol Leaders being given responsibility and taking a risk. He said something like: ‘push the boat out, you’ll be surprised, it just might not sink!’ We could all learn something from that.

proud of what they do. But a bad Group can build walls around itself to keep out the help that is offered by the District. It can hide its failings and not address them. Look around at your local Scouting and think about how open it is to others and to new ideas. I believe that good Scouting is always open to change and that everyone should be encouraged to make suggestions about how to improve it. But more than that, we should all feel strong enough to actually make changes to improve Scouting – not just to talk about them. Use the articles in this edition to help you to push out your own boat and improve your Scouting – and have fun.

Confidence breeds success It is usually only organisations and people that feel secure in what they do that manage to work well with others. This means being able to celebrate the good things that you do as well as acknowledging the areas that need improving. Strangely, at times, the structures that help to give strength to Scouting can also help people to become isolated. A good Scout Group gets better by sections helping one another and being 14

Tim Kidd is Chief Commissioner for England. Contact him at

New and improved Scout website The new and vastly improved is now up and running. Visit today and be prepared to be surprised. A new area, Member resources, contains all the information you need within one website. Content is fully up to date, with a logical menu and information easier to find. There are also links to related articles within the page to help navigate to all the information you want. You can also see what others have been looking at with our ‘top ten searched for’ items. Why logging in to the website gives you more Signing in using your membership number means you can: • Use the Print Centre, where you can create everything from personalised posters and photobooks to signage, stationery and minibus livery. • Access the membership database, where you can update your details and anyone else’s. • Do much more. Tell us what you think We would love to hear your feedback about the new website. Email the Web Team at

Focus April/May 2011

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A volunteer recruitment special Funding round-up ‘Raising our profile was essential’ What the Development Grants Board has meant for local S...