Nottinghamshire Scouts


23rd April 2017: Membership of Nottinghamshire Scouting continues to rise as the popularity of the Movement soars and waiting lists are at record levels. To support continued growth the Trustees of Nottingham Scouts have launched a £100,000 fund to support and encourage local Scout Groups to make improvements to their premises

The £100,000 fund, which is to be administered by young people in partnership with adult volunteers, is thought to be the first of its kind in the Country. It is set to pay out over 140 grants of up to £5000 to Nottinghamshire-based Scout Groups over the next two years.

The fund has been established by pooling money from the organisation's savings (£50,000) and a generous legacy donation (£50,000) from Philip Mason, who clearly had an affinity with Scouting; requesting the money was used to benefit the Scouts of Nottinghamshire.

The Trustees of Nottinghamshire Scouts believe that taking this approach to developing Scouting will improve facilities, future-proof buildings, and add additional capacity for new members and will help keep the cost of Scouting affordable for children and their families.

Grants for Groups who own their premises could be used to upgrade buildings and facilities such as kitchens and outdoor areas, improve the roof, better insulate the walls, replace an ageing heating system or install modern facilities such as solar panels and eco-friendly water management systems and could also improve accessibility for youngsters and adult volunteers with disabilities.

There is good news for Scout Groups who rent premises too, as they will also be able to apply for a smaller ‘micro-grant’ of up to £250 to fund small portable or semi-permanent storage solutions, such as cupboards, filing cabinets, secure outdoor store for camping equipment, or portable signage, banners or notice boards to help publicise the work of the Group at local events to help recruit new adult volunteers.

Jordan Phillips, County Youth Commissioner for Nottinghamshire Scouts, who will lead the decision making alongside the charity’s finance team, said:

“As a youth movement, no one understands the importance of having Great Places for Scouting to happen better than the young people themselves. That’s why our young people will be at the absolute heart of the bidding and approval process for allocating the £100,000. This will allow us to maximise the positive impact and opportunities that this fund can provide to the Scout Groups of Nottinghamshire”.

County Commissioner Matt Rooney said:

“We know that where Scouting happens is an important factor for young people, parents and volunteers to consider when they think about joining and remaining in Scouting. We also know that getting the small things right; such as the building’s appearance, brightness and temperature, as well as how you feel when inside or within a Scout Group’s grounds, can make a massive difference to people’s perception of who we are and what we do as an organisation.”

He added:

“Scouting is a worldwide charity aiming to create a better world in a variety of ways, so I’m also hoping that this fund will also enable our young people and volunteers to think about how they could make our premises more sustainable for the future.”

As well as needing to improve Scouting facilities Notts Scouts still need volunteers. Chief Scout Bear Grylls said:

“With more young people than ever wanting to join we still need more volunteers, and it’s the 30-50 year olds we especially need to attract – a missing generation of volunteers, perhaps not aware that you can volunteer like I do, on a flexible basis. It’s rewarding, it’s fun and better for your promotion prospects than a night in front of the TV. Every child has a right to adventure and to learn skills they need to succeed. As a society let’s step up to the plate and give them that best possible start in life.

Since details of the scheme have already been distributed to volunteer leaders within Notts Scouts and has received a really positive initial response, Alan Scothern a volunteer leader for 1st Kirkby in Ashfield said:

“This is just fantastic news. It means the money we raise to support Scouts can go to providing great activities and adventure for young people instead of having to maintain the building. We always need resources to update our electrical systems, replace parts of the roof and install new disabled toilet facilities. This is a real game-changer for our Group and will make a real difference."

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