Success stories: The Grand Charity


Over five years, over 1500 new sections got off the ground thanks to start-up grants. Make sure you know what you’re eligible for.

Growth is one of the key strategic aims of The Scout Association. Growing the movement at a local level can be as small as putting up posters to let the community know how young people can get involved with Scouting, or as large as setting up brand new Groups.

When it comes to the more ambitious end of the scale, a lot of time and money must be invested in a Group in order to give it the resources it needs to succeed long-term. This money doesn’t have to be raised in the community: there are plenty of grants from charities and trusts available for Scout Groups, which can be applied for through The Scout Association.

The Grand Charity

One of our largest supporters is The Freemasons' Grand Charity (TGC). TGC donates millions of pounds to all sorts of deserving causes every year, particularly those working with young people.

The generous donations of The Grand Charity between 2009 and 2014 allowed us to offer grants at Group and District level – to participate in activities, to train adult volunteers, and to grow the Movement by opening new sections and Groups. Over a five-year period, 1675 new sections have opened, thanks in part to TGC start-up grants.

The best possible start

1st Culmstock Scouts in Tiverton, Devon, were one such Group who applied for a start-up grant. Their team of leaders were working hard to open a brand new Group in the local community.

From humble beginnings, with only 10 young people in each section, the Group began to grow, with numbers more than doubling, and 10 new adult volunteers coming in to support the beefed-up sections. The £300 start-up grant awarded to the Group was used to purchase equipment that the Group desperately needed once it started to expand.

‘The grant allowed us to buy programme materials, games equipment and uniforms for our new Group, says Kate, Scout Leader at 1st Culmstock. ‘These resources gave us the best possible start and enabled to grow into a thriving Scout Group that has become a key part of the local community,’

Fully supported

Another Group benefiting from a start-up grant was 4th Keighley (Madinah) in West Yorkshire. They started from absolute zero, without any young people on the books – just with an idea to open a new Group for the Muslim community of Keighley.

‘This was the first Group locally to cater for this community,’ says Derek, Deputy District Commissioner in Keighley, and one of the members of the team who was instrumental in getting the Group off the ground.

‘The combination of strong support and partnership working from community leaders and Scouting volunteers enabled people to see the value of Scouting. The grant helped a deprived community to access uniforms, equipment and programme resources to engage the young people.’ 

The start-up grant paid also for the administrative items the Group needed – training manuals, stationery, flags and storage boxes for their new equipment. These items are easily overlooked, but were vital for the success of the new Group.

Now, 4th Keighley (Madinah) is fully supported by the local community and has grown to include a Scout Troop as well as Beavers and Cubs.It’s one of countless success stories, made possible by the generosity of The Grand Charity and The Scout Association’s other funders.

Start-up grants, ranging from £100 - £1000, are available for new sections at any Group. They must be applied for within six months of the new section opening. Check what your Group may be eligible for by visiting the grants section of our website.

As of April 2016, The Freemasons' Grand Charity is part of the Masonic Charitable Foundation.

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