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over 400,000 girls and boys across the UK
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Communication key messages

Key messages are essential tools in all communications work and are created to help us achieve the objectives we set out in our national strategic and local development plans.

By choosing one, a few, or prioritising our key messages we can ensure that all of our stories provide an opportunity to deliver Scouting’s key messages and influence actions and culture change. These messages can be demonstrated in every part of your story from the written word to the images and quotes used.

Developing your key messages

Use your local development plans as a framework to identify your local key messages and look at ways in which you can weave them into your communications.

Every piece of communication can have a key message. If a story you are writing doesn't have a key message and demonstrate Scouting as a modern, growing, adventure based organisation then you should ask yourself, why am I writing it?

Focus your time when story gathering to find good case studies to illustrate your key messages. Work with the volunteers in your local area to uncover projects and schemes that have successfully developed Scouting, and collect stories, quotes, photos, video that illustrate their impact. Work with managers compiling development plan successes and ensure that these are communicated widely using a variety of external and internal channels.

Our national key messages

Vision 2018

In 2018 Scouting will be enjoyed by 500,000 young people. They will come from every background, make their voices heard and bring positive change to their communities.

Growth, recruitment and retention

We believe Scouting changes lives, which is why we want every young person in the UK to have the opportunity to be involved.
Today we have 432,000 youth members supported by 130,000 volunteers.
By 2018 - We will have 500,000 young people; they will be supported by 150,000 volunteers (including local
How we will achieve this;


Because we believe that Scouting changes lives and we want every young person to have the opportunity to be involved, we need to remove barriers to participation. Today anyone who believes in the values of Scouting can take part, and that includes over 120,000 girls and women, people with disabilities, LGBT communities and growing numbers from minority ethnic communities.
By 2018:
 How we will achieve this:

Youth Shaped

Every young person should be able to shape their Scouting experience in partnership with adults both locally and nationally. Young people’s views influence decisions in Scouting and this could be through a number of ways including:
A quality programme will be one which is youth shaped and work continues on developing quality programmes and reviewing governance and formal structures to better support young people to engage and feel empowered.
By 2018 – we want to have 500,000 youth members. Every adult will help young people to shape their Scouting
How we will achieve this:

Community Impact

Community has been a part of our DNA for over 100 years and now we are taking it to a higher level within our programme.
By 2018 - Every group will be delivering positive impact locally and will be recognised for doing so. There will be an emphasis on working with people and partnerships in communities, linked to the programme.
We believe Scouting makes a difference not just to the individual but also to wider society due to the actions our members take in the service of others. We want to increase our impact.
How we will achieve this:


We strive to maintain the confidence of parents and adult volunteers with our work in this area, it is key to our success; as such, work on safety and safeguarding continue to be a priority. Promoting the importance of having an identified leader in charge, prioritising safety on meeting agendas and promoting use of risk assessments are factors in our continuing success. We will continue to provide young people with well organised opportunities and ensure that members are never afraid to ask for advice. That way they will learn and enjoy how to do things safely.

Leadership and management

Empowering our leaders and managers is key to achieving the 2018 vision. Effective leadership and management is critical to retaining volunteers, so we will identify how we can make life easier for District Commissioners and Group Scout Leaders, reducing bureaucracy and addressing other time and energy stealers.
As part of the development of the support provided to managers; a more frequent Focus Plus e-newsletter is being emailed on a monthly basis; a manager-specific Facebook group has been set up as an online space for managers in Scouting to share ideas, best practice and support each other; and webinars are scheduled to be run throughout 2014, focussing on the six key skills areas.
Work has started to update volunteer manager training to incorporate the leadership and management functions. During 2014 we will look at how we can embed the leadership and management work with Group Scout Leaders.

Sharing success

If you know of great examples or case studies to help bring these key messages to life please email communications@scouts.org.uk and we’ll share them widely across the UK.


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Charity Numbers 306101 (England and Wales) and SC038437 (Scotland).
Registered address: The Scout Association, Gilwell Park, Chingford, London, England E4 7QW