Guides and Scouts unite for £2.4m expansion push

By Tristan Donovan

| 29 June 2018

Girlguiding and the Scout Association are seeking to open 200 new units in deprived areas of England by 2020 as part of a £2.4m joint project between the UK's two largest youth organisations.

Girlguiding and the Scout Association want to open 200 new units in deprived areas of England. Picture: Scout Association

The project will see the uniformed youth organisations work together to open the units, which they hope will attract 3,300 young people and 768 volunteers to join the movement.

It marks the first time the Scouts and Guides have made a joint bid for funding to expand their networks. The expansion will be overseen by a joint service manager although each of the new units will belong to either the Scouts or Guides networks. The two charities do, however, intend to share their knowledge about different communities and how best to attract young people and volunteers.

The money for the project is being provided by the Pears Foundation and the #iwill programme that was created by the Big Lottery Fund and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Tim Kidd, the UK chief commissioner of Scouts, said: "I am so excited to be announcing our partnership with Girlguiding as part of this project funded by our amazing supporters. Having the opportunity to open more sections in diverse communities is something fundamentally important to both Scouting and Guiding. It means more young people from all backgrounds have the opportunity to experience fun, adventure and learn key skills for life."

Chief Guide Amanda Medler added: "There are still children who don't currently have access to all the amazing things that the movements can offer. We're hoping with this partnership that more girls and young women across England can have their lives changed by Guiding."

Girlguiding intends to use the funds to develop its presence in the Midlands, London, North West, South East and East of England. It will also seek to expand into areas with high black, Asian and minority ethnic populations.

The Scout Association plans to use the money to expand into more communities in Avon, Leeds and Birmingham by using part-time staff to run services until local teams of volunteers have been established.

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