We want to keep Scouting alive for everyone and ensure there is a future for our group. Following coronavirus we are in a position where we need funding to ensure we can cover our essential costs including rent and insurance, so that we can reopen when face to face meetings are possible. Scouting allows for fun and adventure, whilst learning #SkillsForLife making our young people resilient and prepared for the future. Our young people and volunteer adults are at the heart of the community with many successes.
Please read below for more information about our group, our community focus, our successes and details of our project in full, including our extra funding project.
The 186th Sheffield (Manor) Scout Group was formed 4 years ago following a partnership and organisations coming together looking at the needs for the area. The Manor area is one of the 10% most deprived areas in the UK, with some areas falling in the 1% most deprived areas. As such, the following needs were identified:
- for a structured regular positive activity to engage local children
- to create opportunities for adults to volunteer, gain skills and build confidence
- to be affordable and financially accessible
- to offer opportunities to expand the experiences of local people through camps, trips and outings
Scouting offers us a way to meet these needs. The aim of the Scout Association is to promote the development of young people in achieving their full physical, intellectual, social and spiritual potential, as individuals, as responsible citizens and as members of their local, national and international communities.
The Method of achieving the Aim of the Association is by providing an enjoyable and attractive scheme of progressive training, based on the Scout Promise and Law, and guided by adult leadership. Sessions and activities are planned around and with the young people, ensuring that it is appropriate and meets standards required to achieve outcomes planned.
Furthermore, our adults ensure a quality provision by attending additional training, all in their own time. We have leaders who are experts in early years, nurses, professionals with children charity backgrounds, hold permits for camping, are Archery GB instructors and Arts Award Advisors (offering qualifications in all types of art).
We are keen to support our members through Covid, and have done the following:
- run weekly sessions using Zoom so that our members can still participate in Scouting and see their friends. This is available for Hedgehogs, Beavers, Cubs and Scouts
- provided suggested activities to do at home, along with links to other organisations and the Scout Association's Great Indoors
- support referrals to food banks, Sheffield credit union, other sources of support
- refer to other organisations in our local area where members can get access to physical resources, activities and information for young people
- provide access to virtual training for our adult volunteers
- operate exec meeting virtually
186th meet in St Swithun’s Church in the Manor estate of Sheffield with children aged from 4 to 14 attending. Additionally we have a few young leaders supporting these sections. Children attending are from the surrounding areas including Manor, Arborthorn, Norfolk Park and Wybourn. These young people face many barriers and finance is only one. To aid with this we fundraise throughout the year to subsidise our monthly fees and any camps and activities. 7% of our children attend without paying any subscriptions or fees due to home circumstances.
As a group we charge membership on a monthly basis. This rate is subsidised through grants and donations we receive, making us affordable for many. Any extra activities, such as camps, are also subsidised so that as many young people can benefit from scouting as possible.
In order to keep the subsidised rates, we regularly apply for funding, grants and donations. With the outbreak of coronavirus Covid-19, many local families are finding personal finances strained, with no prospect of improvement at present. We are asking parents where possible to continue paying their monthly membership, however a significant number of families are finding this difficult to do. In addition, many more organisations are finding a financial strain and applying for grants and funding that is limited in its capacity to fulfill.
As an organisation we still have outgoings that must be paid, including rent, insurance, and charges to district, county and national level that covers insurance, safeguarding and training needs amongst other things. We have already had an indication that these costs will be higher this year than last year. We have already limited the number of outgoings that we have, however there is still a considerable difference between our current income and our outgoings. This means that as a group, without getting funding, grants and donations we may not be able to reopen, and our members will no longer be able to gain the valuable skills scouting teaches.
We are really proud of our group and what our young people and adults achieve. The majority of children achieve their top award for the section they are in - demonstrating that our leadership team offer a great programme and ensures the young people learn the skills needed to complete these. Those that don't achieve the top award are only because they have joined near the end of the age bracket they are in.
We have attended county events and have won awards in competitions.
We have won a local award for our leadership team and the impact we are having on our local area.
Our group have been keen to ensure that scouting is available for as many people as possible. This has included our very keen interest in early years provision - a time in each young persons life that shapes the future. We have been successful in being selected as one of 20 groups outside London (of over 750 that applied) to pilot a Scouting Early Years Provision called Hedgehogs. Hedgehogs are 4 & 5 year olds that get involved with loads of activities and enjoy the outdoors and local area. This is a fantastic achievement and demonstrates that whilst we are a new group, we are meeting the requirements of the Scout Association and providing quality provision to all of our members.
We are proud to be part of the Manor area, and this is reflected in our involvement with the wider community:
- We perform litter picks in the area
- We assist with car parking for local events
- We support Everyone's Festival - providing fun days in the summer holidays for families, along with a community bonfire and firework display, attracting circa 8500 people to come together and enjoy a night
- We support a Hallowe'en event, allowing children to safely do a 'trick or treat'
- We provide first aid and fire marshalling cover
- We support the Church we meet in by performing clean ups and odd jobs
- We started a local remembrance day service in conjunction with Manor Parish that included a parade through Manor Fields Park
- We started a Christmas Carols service in conjunction with Manor Parish
- We have got involved with exploring the purpose of parliament during Parliament Week
- We engage with scouts from across the world during JOTI
This funding will mean we can continue to offer of adventure, fun and create further opportunities for children to gain #SkillsForLife. By funding us we will be able to reopen after coronavirus Covid-19, giving further opportunities for young people in our area to achieve and become model members of society.
Should we be successful in receiving extra funding we would love to take all of our Beavers, Cubs and Scouts on a camp after coronavirus has finished and it is safe to camp. We would like to offer this free of charge to all of our members in order to allow members to enjoy an experience with their friends and get used to the new normal. We feel that it would allow our members to reintegrate with society and be leaders that can support other people in adapting to the future. The skills and experience gained will be vital for young people to go forward and help the greater society. Our leaders and ready and experienced in running camping activities, along with experience of care settings, hospital settings, childcare settings and many other backgrounds that will all help to ensure we do this safely.