Why strong membership growth and robust safeguarding are both key to Scouting’s success

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Despite recording eleven consecutive years of membership growth and an additional 14,000 adults joining over the last year, some media reports have erroneously suggested that safeguarding fears are putting off potential volunteers.   

You may have read articles in the Times, Mail or Telegraph over the bank holiday weekend about safeguarding in Scouting. The articles suggest that bureaucracy and safeguarding fears are deterring adults from volunteering resulting in 35,000 young people on our waiting lists.  

The truth is that the number of adults directly supporting young people in Scouting increased over the last year by over 9%.The media story did not originate from us and is not factually correct. None of the outlets asked for detailed comment from The Scout Association.  

Although we do have young people on our waiting lists, there is no evidence that our safeguarding procedures are putting off volunteers. Both parents and volunteers in Scouting expect high safeguarding standards to protect young people and adults. We are committed to maintaining robust processes to keep them safe while remaining supportive and welcoming to new volunteers.  

Increasing the number of adults volunteering remains key to growing our Movement. Despite the fact that over 14,000 adults joined Scouting last year, we still require more to ensure we can achieve our strategic plan, Scouting for All.   

We will be working hard to address the real issues these pieces raise which is making sure more young people can enjoy Scouting’s life changing adventure and gain the skills they need to succeed in life. 

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