Chief Commissioner's blog| In our DNA
Helping others has been in Scouting’s DNA since it was founded and Wayne found out how it works today during a frantic three days of Scout Community Week.
A double benefit
A quick change from the suit and tie I’d worn to attend a meeting of the Royal Charities Forum (a twice-yearly meeting of the charities supported and hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry) and a short ride later, I joined Scouts and leaders from 3rd Paddington as they helped the community-based North Paddington food bank collect groceries outside local supermarkets. My brief visit – more of a distraction than a help I fear – summed up why our commitment to community impact and the ‘double-benefit’ we talk about is vital.
Joseph, one of the Scouts, told me enthusiastically how great he felt helping others less fortunate and how he also enjoyed being able to talk to people about Scouting.
Gina, who founded the food bank, was clear that the support of the Scouts drastically increased their effectiveness by collecting more in three days that they usually did in three months. And the Scouts helped to sort and distribute it!
The local councillors were on hand also to sing the praises of the Scouts and summed up what a great project it is in bringing people together to help others.
Not just a week
I then took a rather slow trip across London and into Poplar/Isle of Dogs where 2nd East London Scouts and Explorers were busy with a number of ongoing projects (see the video below), including a monthly litter pick and tending of the church garden, and they were also organising a lunch for local pensioners, which was very popular.
The local MP had joined them and praised the work that the 2nd East London do for others as well as the benefits to the young people in this thriving group in the Tower Hamlets area.
And in the home of Shakespeare too
On Sunday, Julie and I joined the audience of the Warwickshire Scout and Guide Gang Show (WAGS) as they performed a one-off charity performance in the awesome Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon.
90 young people supported the event and they put on a truly great show; even more impressive as they only had access to the theatre for 14 hours. They also raised £7,500 for a local charity in the process.
These are just a few examples of Scouts helping others and why Scout Community Week is such a great shop window for the double benefit.
Making #Scouting4All a reality
Shaped by young people in partnership with adults was a talking point at a dinner with members of Warwickshire County team before the show. It was also much discussed in an inspiring morning I enjoyed at Gilwell Park with members of the Merseyside Scouts youth engagement group who were there for a residential weekend.
A day trip to London earlier in the week for a meeting of the Chairman’s Consultative Week ensured further progress on some of our key projects too.
From one Island to another
Saturday afternoon on the Isle of Wight was a chance to meet up with the Jamboree patrol that are joining up with Hampshire to fundraise and to meet many of the leaders, young people and parents from across the island.