31st July 2016
Now that I have made it to the end of my time as a Development Officer with ScoutsCymru, I would like to reflect on the amazing work we have done during this 18-month project. We have registered 21 sections with Youth United Foundation across the South Wales Police Area, which is 11 Beaver Colonies, 6 Cub Packs, 2 Scout Troops & 2 Explorer Units. Of these, we were able to open 5 new Scouts groups, a brand new Explorer unit and revitalise 10 sections that were on very low numbers.
As well as recruitment, the Youth United Foundation’s grant money through the UYSAF fund has brought over £40,000 of funding directly to these sections that has been invested in brand new equipment and amazing experiences for their young people.
The project was aimed at bringing Scouting to the some of the most deprived and hard to reach areas of South Wales, enabling young people who previously had limited or no access to Scouting to join the adventure. What has amazed me most is the response to Scouting in these communities, not only by the young people but by the adults and family members who have supported these projects through parent rota’s, helping with odd jobs and of course, joining as volunteers.
To these adults who have decided to join our movement and give their time and energy to providing the amazing opportunities and positive experiences Scouting brings to young people, I say “thank you”. Being an adult volunteer is not easy, but I believe it is one of the most rewarding endeavours you can embark upon. I hope your volunteer journey is as rewarding as mine has been.
Scouting needs more of these passionate, caring and dedicated individuals to join the movement, so a large part of the UYSAF money has been spent on new ways of recruiting adult volunteers for all roles, as well as investing in the training resources needed to retain them.
I would also like to thank the managers at Group, District & Area levels who have supported my work with this project. Your guidance, knowledge and hard work has been invaluable and I hope that the legacy of the UYSAF project goes on for years to come, in the form of continued growth and new sections within your districts.
Scouting is an amazing movement which I have belonged too for almost my entire life. As a child it brought me fun, friendship and excitement, adventure, achievement and self-worth. Becoming a leader at the age of 21 gave me a new self-confidence, with skills and opportunities I never thought I would receive. It has been an honour and a privilege to work for the ScoutsCymru Development Service, giving others the opportunity to experience this great movement that has given me so much.
To quote Lord Robert Baden-Powell, “The most worth-while thing is to try to put happiness into the lives of others”. This is the power of our movement and I know that it will continue to bring out the best in our young people & adults by providing the fun, challenges & adventure that is Scouting.
Written by: Tim Fawell, Scout