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Scouts and Scope- supporting more disabled young people to access Scouting

The Scout Association worked with disability charity, Scope, on a 15-month project funded by the Uniformed Youth Social Action Fund.

The project finished in June 2016, having opened 29 new Sections, welcoming over 360 new young people into Scouting. Learning from the project has resulted in the development of our guidance and resources to support disabled young people to fully participate in Scouting.

Disabled children and young people are currently under-represented in Scouting so partnering with Scope gave us the opportunity of using their vast knowledge and experience to support us make Scouting more accessible.

A 2014 survey of 500 parents of disabled children carried out by Scope found; 

More information about The Scout Association’s policy and approach to enable disabled young people to fully participate in Scouting is available here.

This includes guidance to support our duty to make reasonable adjustments to enable disabled young people to access Scouting and Scouting activities, as far as reasonably possible, to the same level as young people without disabilities.

Also available is guidance on establishing effective partnerships with parents/ carers to inform reasonable adjustments. Included within this a parent/ carer conversational framework to guide the discussions.

The Pilot in partnership with Scope
Throughout the project new Beaver and Cub Sections were established in Special Educational Needs (SEN) schools, supported by an existing local Group.
Satellite Sections are an effective means of enabling young people with complex disabilities and additional needs, who may not otherwise be able to fully participate in Scouting to join the adventure.

Satellite Sections operating within SEN schools can be beneficial as it takes Scouting to where young people already are and utilises the specialist equipment and knowledge available within the school.

All new Sections should operate in partnership with a ‘buddy group’- an existing Scout group to support the new provision. Satellite Sections are the preferred approach to ensure that young people accessing Scouting via a specialist provision are fully included within the District and have opportunities to build friendships with non-disabled young people via Scouting.

More information about setting up satellite Scouting provisions within SEN schools is available here.
The pilot took place in the South East, East Midlands and East of England regions. During the pilot, 29 new Sections were opened, engaging over 100 adult volunteers to support and provide Scouting to over 300 young people.

In addition, the project also provided 17 ‘Disability Equality’ training sessions for approximately 200 volunteers in association with Disability Consultancy Freeney Williams Ltd.  This training equipped leaders with additional confidence, knowledge and skills to better support the full participation of disabled young people.

If you would like to read more about the project and the research carried out by Scope, a summary document is available here.


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