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Chief Commissioner's Blog | #Scouting4all!

BLOG 05.02.16

This week, Wayne reflects on the importance of a truly inclusive Movement and acknowledges the challenges we face along the way.


I took advantage of Young Carers Awareness Day on Thursday (28 January) to join the Carers Trust, who were hosting a panel discussion where a number of young carers from around the UK had an opportunity to put their questions and concerns to a highly experienced panel.


I was struck by two particular elements of the stories and experiences that young carers had to share.  One was that of an individual attending university who felt that she received considerably more support and understanding from her lecturers when she became pregnant than she had done when she was having to care for her mother and siblings whilst trying to study. 

The second, and perhaps the more relevant to Scouting, was a campaign being run entitled #MissingOut.  Several, indeed almost all of the young carers, expressed concern at how they felt they were missing out on social activities that their peers were enjoying, either because of a lack of respite care/support or because the organisations did not understand the particular circumstances that the carers were in.

What to do?

The weekend saw me in the North West region where they were hosting a conference for District Commissioners on the Saturday, Assistant County Commissioners and other County support roles on Sunday and a dinner in the evening with County Commissioners etc.  The discussions on Saturday included a variety of workshops around a number of key support areas as well as our Vision objectives. 

I was struck that the numbers participating in the Inclusion workshop were generally low.  I found this disappointing if I’m honest, not because I don’t appreciate that we all have a variety of different demands on us, but that in practice our ambitions for #Scouting4all e.g. our Movement representing our local communities and being available to all, is the area we are probably struggling in the most. 

Whilst we often feel that diversity means faith or the colour of one’s skin, the reality is that my current mailbag probably has more concerns around accessibility for those with less obvious barriers, as well as being reminded by the experience of the young carers I met on Thursday of their own experiences in trying to access social activities such as Scouting.

Practical action

As always, the benefits of weekends such as that in the North West is that it is an opportunity to explore, with people who feel as passionate about the subject as I do, those areas in which we can improve the practical support.  In the case of NW Region, they are developing a strategy to support leaders and give them the confidence to deliver Scouting in such circumstances. 



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