Scouting is the UK’s largest co-educational youth movement. Open to 6-25 year olds, Scouting aims to change lives by offering fun and challenging activities, unique experiences, everyday adventure and the chance to help others and make a positive impact in communities.
The Scout Association helps children and young adults to reach their full potential. Scouts develop skills including teamwork, time management, leadership, initiative, planning, communication, self-motivation, cultural awareness and commitment. We help young people to get jobs, save lives and even change the world.
Key facts and figures
The Scout Association is a national charity and exists by authority of a Royal Charter granted in 1912 and supplemented by further charters granted by King George V and Queen Elizabeth II. It was founded in 1907. With a membership of over 538,000 young people and adult leaders, it is the largest co-educational youth movement in the UK.
Scouting activity is delivered through around 8,000 community based Scout Groups nationwide (all independent charities in their own right).
The Scout Association is made up of a Board of Trustees, who govern the organisation and are led by Dr Ann Limb CBE DL, its Chair; Scouting throughout the United Kingdom is led and managed by a volunteer Team, made up of Commissioners who also provide specialised support in areas like programme, adult support and safety, led by UK Chief Commissioner, Tim Kidd; A staff team based at several UK sites and remotely, all led by our Chief Executive, Matt Hyde.
Additionally, there are key youth volunteers in place to ensure that young people's views are at the heart of our decision making. Our UK Youth Commissioner and her two deputies work directly with the UK Chief Commissioner, Chief Executive and Chair to ensure that The Scout Association’s decisions and planning are shaped by young people.
Board of Trustees
The Board manages the business of The Scout Association in accordance with the byelaws of the Association. It is the Association's national decision-making body. Its members are the Trustees of the Association.
The Board decides the policy and rules of the Association. These are published in Policy, Organisation and Rules and in various handbooks and other official literature.
The Board delegates certain powers to five Committees:
- Finance Committee
- Operations Committee
- Nominations and Governance Committee
- Risk Committee
- Staffing, Salary and Remuneration
The membership and terms of reference of these Committees is determined by the Board. The Chairmen of the Committees are elected annually by the Board.
Members of the Board
Ann Limb, Tim Kidd, Matt Hyde, Hannah Kentish, Gordon Boyd, Byron Chatburn, Gareth Davies, Fiona Durrant, Nicola Gamlen, Nigel Hailey, Stuart Howells, Liz Jack, John Kennedy, Colin Lammey, Kieron Moir, Ashley Russell, Jane Simpson, Lexie Sims, Frances Craven and Jack Bullon.
UK Chief Commissioners Team
The UK Chief Commissioner’s Team is made up of a volunteer team of Commissioners who provide leadership and management across UK Scouting along with specialised support in areas like programme, adult support and safety. The team is led by Tim Kidd whose responsibility is to lead and manage all volunteers within Scouting, in particular the team of Chief Commissioners.
Members of the UK Chief Commissioners Team
Tim Kidd, Hannah Kentish, Debbie Bainbridge, Kester Sharpe, Mark Tarry, Gareth Watson, Craig Turpie, Graham Haddock, Alex Minajew, Stephen Donaldson, Alex Peace-Gadsby, Jack Maxton
Most of Scouting's full-time staff are based at the Association's UK Headquarters, Gilwell Park, historically an important location in World Scouting.
Gilwell is also a Scout campsite, activity and conference centre, and hosts a variety of adult training courses and large annual events such as Wintercamp, Fundays, Gilwell 24, Gilwell Reunion and Scarefest
Some staff work regionally across the UK helping to develop Scouting and operate our national centres.
Staff are divided into three directorates and one unit, these are:
- Scouting Operations Directorate
- Support Services Directorate
- Commercial Services Directorate
- Communications Unit
The Senior Leadership Team consists of the Chief Executive, Director of Scouting Operations, Chief Financial Officer, Director of Commercial Services and the Communications Director.