Blog | Why A Million Hands make light work
Jack Abrey, Chair of the UK Community Impact Group, tells us why the A Million Hands project is so important…
Part of the programme
So I know Scouts are busy people. I know, as a young volunteer myself, that we have our hands full delivering action-packed programmes that are enjoyed by thousands of young people. So why also get involved in A Million Hands, our flagship community impact campaign?
One great reason is that it is not something extra; it’s part of the Programme. By helping Scouts take positive social action in their communities and tackling key societal issues (chosen by young people like me) we can help them achieve their Community Impact Staged Activity Badge and other top awards.
But looking wider, the opportunity for positive change is enormous. Not only is A Million Hands a fantastic opportunity to change communities for the better, it’s a chance to change the wholly unfair negative perception of young people. It’s a way to demonstrate that Scouts can create meaningful change in their communities that also develops the young people, giving them the confidence, resilience and belief that change is possible.
Changing the world
We should be proud of the good things we’ve done in communities for over a hundred years now. Litter picking, conservation and fence painting are not to be scoffed at. But imagine what we could do if we focus that passion and energy on the big generational issues of our time – moving from 'useful' to 'life changing'. A Million Hands is about improving the lives of people around us and helping us change the world where we live.
As a quick recap, here are the issues our young people can choose to take action on:
- Improving the lives of those affected by dementia.
- Improving the lives of those disabled by society.
- Improving the mental wellbeing and resilience of families.
- Ensuring everyone everywhere has access to clean water and sanitation.
I want adults and young people in Scouting to work together to identify those issues that are the most appropriate, the most meaningful and the most practical for your community.
Then I want you to get out and have fun whilst genuinely changing and improving the lives of others. It’s a chance to break barriers and connect communities.
Remember community impact is nothing new. Baden-Powell himself said: ‘Try and leave this world a little better than you found it.’ He also said: ‘Service is not merely personal little good turns of courtesy and kindness to other people. These are right and good; but I mean something higher and bigger than this: service as a citizen of your community and your country.’
From supporting international disaster relief to supporting UK families during times of economic hardship, Scouts have a long track record of helping in our communities. And of course, it’s always been there in our Scout Promise – to help other people.
A bigger impact
As a member of the Community Impact Group, I’m so proud to be part of this work. It’s inspiring to see what Scouting is capable of when we work together and how powerful our fantastic movement is when we take action on huge issues.
Young people develop best when they’re actively involved in a project and learning by doing. When they see how communities are strengthened and improved by Scouts, they will be inspired to even bigger and better things. We've always made a positive difference in our communities, but A Million Hands will help us take focused, collective action and consequently have an even bigger impact.
A Million Hands will show people that Scouting is relevant and a force for good. So please get involved. These are issues that truly matter.
Sign up and get involved.