Chief Commissioner's Blog | Making an even bigger impact
Wayne’s visit to the successful iScoutBradford project coincides with the end of the government-funded Youth United project. This has seen the successful development of Scouting in some of England’s most challenged communities.
Growing Scouting across Bradford
On Sunday I was lucky enough to join young people and their leaders from the three Scouting Districts in Bradford (Keighley, Bradford North and Bradford South) who had come together for a weekend of fun and adventure.
They were celebrating the success of their development project, iScoutBradford, which has seen the recruitment of 70 adult volunteers and 364 young people across 27 new sections. Not even the torrential rain on Saturday dampened their spirits.
I joined leaders and support teams from the new sections for breakfast and it was great to have the opportunity to discuss their experiences, both good and bad. The highlight, as is so often the case, was the chance to talk to young people about what Scouting means for them.
The picture above was taken from the camp closing. It sums up the party atmosphere, not just over the weekend, but across the whole of Bradford as a result of the project.
Youth United project
The project in Bradford was one of six target areas funded through a grant of £1.3m through the Department for Communities and Local Government and Youth United. Through this project 2,340 young people and 413 adults have joined 175 new sections.
The lessons we have learnt from these projects play a large part in the strategy we have recently announced for Project 200 – our Scouting 4 All objective – to ensure that Scouting is present in the UK’s 200 most deprived areas.
We very much hope that the success we have demonstrated through these current projects will result in further government funding from the recently announced LIBOR funded grants. This will allow us to extend our development across the most deprived parts of the UK and not just England. Watch this space!
Being put on the spot
My visit to West Yorkshire also provided an opportunity on the Saturday evening to meet with a group of predominantly young leaders. We had a wide ranging discussion and Q&A session covering topics as diverse as uniform, the role of the Chief Scout, the Queen’s Scout Award and Explorer Belt and my favourite colour!
Earlier on in the week I met with Charlotte Hill, Chief Executive, and Sir Nick Parker, Chairman, of the Step Up To Serve campaign to discuss general progress on the campaign and Scouting.