Development and celebration
Building on the theme of development, Wayne joined the conference of the DGB (Development Grants Board) project teams and also celebrated 80 years of Gang Shows at the Birmingham Hippodrome.
Investing in Scouting
The DGB invests nearly one million pound in development grants to local Scouting, usually on a matched funding basis. Joining the local project team for its conference in Leicester was a great way to discuss ideas and learn about some of its many successes.
Making the most of the funding
The DGB offers small and large grants from one hundred pound start-up grants for new Sections, to large grants, which often cover part of the costs of Local Development Staff (paid staff who support local volunteers to develop Scouting).
An ongoing review of projects ensures that we now have a solid understanding of many key successes: having the right people involved; local buy-in and engagement; good planning; effective leadership and management and an eye on sustainability when the LDO moves on to the next project.
Grow your Group, Staffordshire
Several groups shared some lessons that they had learnt from projects. One that particularly struck me was 'Grow your Group' in Staffordshire. The project invested £3,000 to directly support six Groups to help them grow through adult recruitment and develop the youth programme and its support structures.
For me there are many quick win ideas to follow:
- A resources box bringing key information together (programme ideas, fact sheets, risk assessments, POR etc)
- Signage for the meeting place
- A picture board of leaders so that parents know who is who
- A vacancy board explaining what help is needed in a jargon free way
Help from the district/county and RDS included induction and training of new adult recruits. After just six months, five of the six groups have grown significantly, especially with new adults.
The biggest key to success seems to be a person in the position of local ‘driver’ to lead the Group and be properly supported. This is commonly the Group Scout Leader.
Learn more about the DGB and some of the many projects supported by visiting here.
80 years of Gang Shows
Ralph Reader's first Gang Show was held in London in 1932. I'm sure he would have been delighted to have seen GS80 at the Birmingham Hippodrome, which brought together 150 young people from 30 shows across the UK for a one-off performance celebrating 80 years of Gang Shows.
A very big well done and thank you to the gang of performers, and to the front and back of house teams for producing such a memorable weekend.
As usual, I took advantage of being in Leicester to catch up with the local County Commissioner, Byron Chatburn, who is also a Trustee, and Tim Kidd, Chief Commissioner for England, who joined me for GS80.