Blog | Our promise to help other people
The launch of A Million Hands is a golden opportunity to show the world just what an incredible difference Scouting can make and the crucial role we have in inspiring social change. Wayne Bulpitt, UK Chief Commissioner explains why…
Tackling the issues
With new research commissioned by The Scout Association revealing the need for more opportunities for youth social action, the A Million Hands campaign could not be launched at a more critical time.
This week, we are announcing the results of some startling new research into youth volunteering. With the help of ComRes, we spoke to one thousand 12-24 year olds in the UK. Some 82% of these believe it is important for today’s youth to tackle social issues, which is great news.
And yet only 36% believe that they have the opportunity to do so. This means the UK may be losing out on over 15.4 million hours of youth volunteering time per month. That’s an alarming statistic.
Providing opportunities for social change
That’s why A Million Hands, our national campaign to empower half a million Scouts to volunteer for some of the UK’s biggest charities is so important. Together, young people will tackle four key issues: improving the lives of those affected by dementia, improving the lives of those disabled by society; improving the mental wellbeing and resilience of families and ensuring everyone everywhere has access to clean water and sanitation.
To reaffirm our commitment to youth-shaped Scouting, the charity partners were chosen by young people themselves reflecting the four issues that they care about most. These partners are Mind, Alzheimer’s Society (Dementia Friends), WaterAid, Guide Dogs, The Canal & River Trust and Leonard Cheshire Disability.
An incredible start
When I heard that over 150,000 young people are pledged to support A Million Hands, I was inspired but not totally surprised. I know the amazing amount of energy and generosity that exists within our movement and it’s typical of Scouts to come out and support such a brilliant cause.
The same poll also told us that almost three quarters (73%) of Scouts in the UK volunteer in their local communities every week. By the age of 21, four in five (84%) of Scouts are volunteering at least once a week, which is well above the national average.
By creating this campaign we are providing a mechanism for young people to make a real and lasting difference to the lives of people in their community. Over the coming three years, we will call on young people from across the country to join us in making a positive change.
So now the work begins. A heartfelt thanks if you have already pledged your support; if you haven’t already, please visit scouts.org.uk/communityimpact and get involved.
Remember, by signing up, you will also get access to some fantastic Programme resources to support you. And don’t forget that as it’s embedded within our updated Programme, your project also contributes to young people’s top awards and the Community Impact Staged Activity Badge.
For those who have already signed up, the next stage is identifying the issue you want to tackle as a Group or Section. You then need to identify the specific action you will take.
Remember when you made your Promise to help other people? Now’s the time to show the world you mean it.
If you haven’t already, make a difference and sign up to A Million Hands.