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Current campaigns

The public affairs and campaigns team is responsible for responding to government announcements and legislation, to protect and promote the interests of The Scout Association and its members.

As well as monitoring legislation that may affect Scouting and local issues that affect groups, we also work with MPs to encourage their engagement with groups in their constituencies so they can see modern Scouting in action.

Please contact us for more information if your Group or District would like help to get your local MP more involved.

This year our key work focuses on:


In November 2011, unemployment amongst 16 to 25-year-olds broke the one million mark, which is a record high. The CBI and Federation of Small Businesses have suggested that a lack of basic employability skills is deterring companies from hiring school and university leavers.

We believe that through Scouting, young people and adults develop skills that are beneficial in the workplace and attractive to employers. These skills do not just help with employability but also affect access to further or higher education, apprenticeships and other training.

We are working alongside the think-tank Demos, to research this issue. In January 2013 we will launch our findings and make the case to the government and to employers of the value of Scouting and the crucial employment skills that our members develop through Scouting.

Employer-supported volunteering

Scouting has seen year-on-year growth in adult and youth membership over the last five years. In particular, last year saw the largest growth in teenage membership for the fifth year running, with a sixteen per cent increase in youth members aged 14–18. Despite this however, The Scout Association continues to face challenges in adult recruitment, with 33,000 young people on our waiting lists across the UK.

Earlier this year we conducted some research with employers and volunteers about their experiences. Early next year we will be launching this research along with a pamphlet for MPs and small, medium and large businesses to demonstrate the best ways in which to support employees to volunteer and the benefits of employee volunteering to businesses and companies.

Ground rent and increases in payments to local authorities

Over a third of Scout groups pay ground rent to councils for the land on which their Scout properties are located. Over the past couple of years many found that these rents were increasing way above and beyond inflation, putting groups in danger of closing. At the same time, groups are finding that councils are removing the level of discretionary rate relief they are offering Scout groups.

Take action: if you are concerned that cuts to local funding will impact your group, specifically any changes proposed by your local authority, do contact us.

Previous successes

You can click here to see details of our stop the rain tax campaign, through which we successfully lobbied the government to amend legislation that would have massively increased Scout groups’ water bills to devastating effect.


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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