Scouts speak up at party conferences


Hundreds of Scouts engaged politicians on issues that matter to them during the three main party conferences.

Scouts attended workshops at the Liberal Democrat, Labour and Conservative party conferences in Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham The events, hosted by The Scout Association, were an opportunity for young people to challenge politicians and to express their hopes for the future.

‘The decisions of today will affect me tomorrow’

Lewis, 15, an Explorer Scout, attended all three workshops. ‘Most decisions that politicians make today will directly affect me tomorrow. I want to influence my future, and even though I’m too young to vote, Scouting has given me the voice to make myself heard. These events have allowed me to meet the MPs face to face. It’s an experience I wouldn’t otherwise have had. I’ve also got my school involved, so it’s been really interesting.’

Citzenship, university cuts and poverty

The Scouts and MPs debated a wide range of issues, including citizenship, crime, voting at 16, volunteering and poverty. Kiron, a 20-year-old Scout Leader was at the Conservative workshop. ‘I’d invited my MP along, Pauline Laithem, Derby so was really pleased to see her here. We discussed national issues, but also a local rise in crime, and how we can get young people involved in positive initiatives, such as Scouting.’ 

Explorer Scout Jimmi, 16, was at the Liberal Democrat event in Liverpool. ‘I jumped at the chance to meet with the MPs and give them my thoughts on the things that affect me and my friends. I hope that I was able to persuade some of them to put more resources into getting young people active in sport and involved with the outdoors through things like Scouts, which is brilliant.’

Sam Mowbry, Head of Public Affairs, The Scout Association: 'It’s been heartening that so many MPs took the time to come to the events. And it shows not all young people are apathetic about politics.’

Year three of speaking up

This is the third year that The Scout Association has run youth workshops during the three main party conferences. As well as youth issues, MPs gained an insight into how Scouting, with over 500,000 members in the UK helps develop young people to become responsible citizens within their communities, as well as offering a wide range of challenging and adventurous activities to young people.

Further information

View photos from the event on our Facebook page

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