17th December 2014
On 16 December The Duchess of Cambridge joined the 23rd Poplar, a recently opened and SIP-funded Beaver Scout Colony based in East London. The Royal volunteering visit was part of the weekly meeting and shared support for The Scout Association’s new landmark campaign, Better Prepared.
Better Prepared will see The Scout Association, funded partly through Youth United Foundation's Supporting Inclusion Programme, working with local communities to open new Scout groups in 200 areas around the country where Scouting can have the biggest impact. The aim is to ensure that even more children from disadvantaged areas have the chance to experience fun and adventure through Scouting, while developing skills that will help change their lives.
The Scout Association is not starting from scratch. With help from the Department of Communities and Local Government £10m funding pot, which was distributed through the Youth United Foundation, Scouting is present and sustainable in 70 of the 100 most deprived areas in the UK.
The visit highlighted that to make this ambition a reality, the Scouts need help from others too: from those who can provide places to host Scout meetings, to those who can support help fund this work. Scouting’s most immediate challenge, though, is to recruit more adult volunteers.
The Duchess of Cambridge, who volunteered with The Scout Association when she lived in North Wales, visited the East London group yesterday and took part in a series of exercises that were designed to raise disability awareness amongst Scouts. Exercises included learning how to communicate through the likes of sign-language and navigating through activities requiring coordination while blind-folded.
The 23rd Poplar was launched last year with help from Youth United Foundation and is one of many new sections opened in the last year that are designed to give even more young people who have so much more potential but are not always given the opportunity to shine.