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The Mercer's Company Charity

Supporting our work in the Early Years

Research shows that many of our key skills and attitudes are formed in the early years of life.

Already, Scouts around the world are exploring how they can work with children at a younger age.

We believe that the earlier a child accesses non-formal education, the more positive the impact on their future development. With the support of The Mercers’ Company, we’re beginning to test new models of delivering Scouts to 4 and 5 year olds.

The Mercers’ are funding a 3-year project to deliver 20 pilots across Greater London. We’ll test different approaches in reaching this new age group, particularly focussed on areas of deprivation.

Continuing the work we began with the Department of Education in November 2018, we’ll also test new ways of recruiting more volunteers from different backgrounds. In the USA, 61% of members are from families new to Scouts and 75% of new parents from their early years programme went on to become volunteers. We're hoping to see positive results here in the UK, too.

Please note: Scout Groups do not have permission to start early years provision outside of these pilots. Unofficial provision is against our rules, could affect the results of the pilots and is not insured. The existing Squirrels programme, run under a Memorandum of Understanding with Scouts NI is not affected by the pilot schemes in Greater London.

About The Mercers' Company Charity 

The Mercers’ Company is a livery company focused on being a force for good, with a rich history dating back over 700 years.

Each year they distribute £15 million to charitable causes, with giving focussed on young people & education, older people & housing, and church & communities.

Interested in supporting the Scouts?

Contact the Trusts team to learn more about our partnerships with trusts and foundations, and to explore how your trust could support our work. We'd be delighted to hear from you.