Blog | 37th Ormskirk (St Anne’s) Scouts learn more about sight loss for A Million Hands
In honour of Scout Community Month we shine a light on Scout Groups across the UK who are working with A Million Hands to tackle issues affecting their communities. This week we look at how, to fully understand their issue, 37th Ormskirk (St Anne’s) Group learnt more about sight loss and disability with the help of Guide Dogs.
We spoke to Anne Gilham, Cub Scout Leader of 37th Ormskirk (St Anne’s), about the work their Group have been doing with Guide Dogs in order to understand the issue of disability, one of the four issues young people chose to address through A Million Hands.
1. Hi Anne, thanks for chatting to us. Can you tell us a bit about how your Cubs learnt about the issue?
One of our Scouts is registered blind and he spoke to all sections, detailing what it means to him to be blind and also what it means to him to be accepted into Scouts.
In total 100 Beavers Cubs and Scouts heard him speak and asked very relevant questions. The best one being 'What is the best thing you have done during your time in Scouts?' He said, 'being allowed to chop wood with an axe and to use a saw.'
We had a visit from Guide Dogs and then the young people voted on which Guide Dog Puppy they wanted to sponsor.
2. How did your Group decide on what issue to tackle?
We held forums in each section and looked at the resources provided for the different issues. We then held a vote within the sections to decide which issue we wanted to tackle. Having a Scout who is registered blind was quite a deciding factor.
3. How did the young people respond to the idea of tackling this issue?
With enthusiasm! They set about raising £2 each, by whatever means they could, mostly doing odd jobs. We raised the £200 within two weeks and adopted a Guide Dog puppy called Felix. We get a regular 'pupdate' about his progress.
4. Did you find their understanding changed through taking part in the activity?
Yes. They understood more about the struggles affecting those with disabilities, especially after we had played some of the games – foot painting, drawing with their wrong hand, blindfold football, lip reading, etc.
5. How is Felix doing? What is the latest ‘pupdate’?
Felix is doing really well and has gone to a handler to continue with the next part of his training. When we get the ‘pupdates’, we usually get photos, magnets etc, and we use these as small raffle prizes, which the members really enjoy.
6. Would you recommend getting involved with A Million Hands to other Groups?
Yes – apart from anything else, it helps with programme planning.
7. What do you hope to achieve with your young people through A Million Hands?
A much greater awareness of the world around them and the people in it. How things are not the same for everyone and the struggles that some people have. We want to dispel myths around disability and hope that our young people will grow up caring about all members in society, and understand that everyone has a place and a part to play.
For those already involved, whether you’re working with your Scouts to understand the issue or are already taking action, remember to record your actions on the A Million Hands website.