Preparing for our new strategy and brand: Three key things you can do on 15 May

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By Tim Kidd, UK Chief Commissioner 

We’re almost there! After three years of consultation and testing we are now less than a week away from introducing our new strategic plan and brand (including a new visual identity) on the morning of 15 May. 

I know all too well the huge amount of work you have put in over the last four years, delivering brilliant Scouting across the UK. I also know the incredible efforts that have gone into the development of the new strategic plan and brand – with the biggest ever consultation undertaken of its kind to make sure we’ve got the best ideas and the right priorities in place, while keeping it exciting and most importantly, realistic. Thanks to all of you who have taken part in this. You are the experts delivering Scouting locally and we’ve listened carefully to your advice. 

A personal highlight for me was Summit17, our conference in Warwick last April for over 600 adults and young people. Together we reviewed the consultation to date, had some real breakthrough moments and agreed our direction of travel. A year on and the final pieces of the jigsaw are almost in place. 

Despite all the consultation, we appreciate that change brings with it uncertainty too. I therefore want to provide as much clarity and support as possible as we go live with the plan and new brand. The purpose of this blog is to let you know exactly what to expect on 15 May, and suggest a few things that you could do to help make it a success. 

Prerapring young people with skills for life 

Put simply, our strategy is about preparing more young people with skills for life. It’s also about extending our reach and providing better support and training to help our amazing leaders to deliver inspiring programmes.

Our new brand is also focused on skills for life – helping the public better understand who we are and what we do – helping young people develop the character, employability and practical skills to succeed in life. Our new visual identity will be easier to reproduce online and there will be a wide range of better tools and resources available on a new and improved Scout brand centre. Our testing suggests that the public will respond well to the new brand. For example, 44% of parents we spoke to said they would be more likely to volunteer after seeing materials in the new identity. 

What a moment this is for Scouting as we set out our stall for the next five years. I know this will be a positive, energising moment, building on the brilliant work across the UK over the last four years helping us grow, become more inclusive, youth shaped, and making more of an impact in our communities. We remain committed to these four areas of work. 

Taking time to get things right 

The key thing to remember is that it will take time to deliver different parts of the plan. It does not all need to happen at once and some parts will be delivered nationally. We also have two years to make the transition to the new brand, so do not feel pressured to do everything at once. We want to minimise cost and disruption to local Scouting and keep you focused on delivering inspiring programmes.  

What will happen on the morning of 15 May?

  • An email will be sent to all adult volunteers with links to the new strategy and a video explaining the plan.  
  • The homepage of www.scouts.org.uk will have a fresh new look
  • Our new Scout brand centre goes live at www.scouts.org.uk/brand 
  • We will be posting throughout the day on our social media channels, highlighting different parts of the plan.  

Three things you can do on 15 May

1.  Understand the plan and watch the video.
2.  Find out what to do in your role (look for the guide most relevant to your role).
3.  Share our new Skills for Life film on social media: We will be sharing an inspiring new video, Nat’s Story, on our social media on the morning of 15 May. Please share this on your own social media channels with this wording: ‘Proud to be preparing young people in Scouts with #SkillsForLife’.

Supporting you with the new brand and visual identity 

We want to make it as easy as possible for you to start using our new brand and visual identity. You will find full guidelines, an activation guide and a wide range of templates, tools and resources on the new Scout brand centre, which goes live on the morning of 15 May at www.scouts.org.uk/brand 

You may also find it useful to read Kester Sharpe’s blog 10 Good Things to Know About Our New Brand and my previous blog How focusing on skills for life will make it easier to talk about Scouting 

We would also like to invite you to a special brand webinar on the evening of 15 May at 7pm. We’ll give you a tour of the new brand and visual identity and the team will be available to answer your questions. You can find out how to sign up to this here. 

A bright future for Scouting 

I hope this gives you a good sense of what will happen as we prepare to implement our new plan. But let’s remember this is only the start. The next five years will be an extraordinary journey and we will only achieve our goals and support more young people by working together and living our values of integrity, respect, care, respect, belief and cooperation. 

Let’s not forget our rich heritage either. It was at times like these that our Founder, Robert Baden-Powell, reminded us that we are ‘a movement, not an organisation,’ not afraid to change with the times. There’s another of his quotes that always resonates with me, and which I think will never go out of fashion: ‘The most worthwhile thing is to try to put happiness into the lives of others.’ 

Thank you for everything you do and I hope you feel as positive as me about the incredible difference we are making to the lives of young people across the UK.  

 

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