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Chief Commissioner's Blog | Getting Noticed

This week, Wayne discusses recent coverage of Cubs100 celebrations in the press, and the important work of Gilwell Park's policy unit.

Getting noticed

You couldn’t help but notice this week across the UK that Cub Scouts are 100 years old this year.  Following the publicity last week for Harry’s badge achievements, the sleepover of 44 Cubs and their leaders at London Zoo’s Bug House last weekend hit the headlines across the UK, including BBC News coverage throughout Sunday and regionally tailored news stories in each of the main ITV regions on Monday. 

Coupled with online and print coverage we were able to celebrate the heritage of Cub Scouting whilst focussing on its attractiveness today to young people, the impact on their lives and the essential role that volunteers play within that.

Action in parliament

In Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s Question time, not a natural programme for many of us to watch I am sure, the Prime Minister responded to a question with the benefits of Scouting, in particular the Cub Centenary including a push for volunteers. Whilst few of us will have seen it live, it was widely reported on the BBC and a small number of newspapers the following morning. You can watch the clip here.

With the Prime Minister’s warm words and the launch of Cubs100 this week, lots of MPs have been getting in touch and asking if they can visit a Scout Group in their constituency. Having an MP visit your Group is the perfect way to build important relationships with local decision-makers, show off the fantastic work you do, and attract new adult volunteers.

If you get a request for a visit, please try and be as accommodating as possible. If you have any questions or would like some support with a local visit, you can get in touch with the Policy Unit at Gilwell Park.

And in its workings

The Prime Minister was not the only government minister talking of the positive impact of Scouting this week.  Secretary for Education, Nicky Morgan, speaking at a conference on Character Education on Thursday, also highlighted the important role that Scouting plays in non-formal education, specifically referencing our work to extend that in school environments. 

Stopping unnecessary regulation

Wednesday also saw the Minister for Schools confirming that proposed regulation of out of school education settings, a policy under consultation from the Government, was not intended to cover Scouting.

Not by accident

This in particular, as well as the references by government ministers, highlights the work that our small Policy Unit at Gilwell has been undertaking.  Whilst they usually only come to light during the political conference seasons and our ‘Speak up’ activities, they work throughout the year to build relationships with government and political parties, identifying proposed rules or regulations that may impact us (the Out of School Education Settings is a good example) and where, working in partnership with others, in this case the church, they identified the risks and made a robust submission highlighting these risks.



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