Scouting has once again reported that it is growing (based on 2012 and 2013 numbers) and we look forward to the national 2014 numbers coming out soon.
It’s been another successful year for the Movement. Not only did we celebrate our eighth consecutive year of growth, which was achieved
through our Vision and objectives for 2012, but we began our Vision Towards 2018. This is not a major change of direction of course, but builds upon the excellent work over the past few years that has
helped make Scouting such a healthy Movement. All parts of our organisation have a role to play in achieving this.
We measure the Movement’s success by our ability to offer Scouting to increasing numbers of young people and adult volunteers. An increase of 10,000 members to 535,000 includes almost 500 new sections. The growth of teenagers in Scouting is particularly
strong and many of them go on to be Young Leaders. One particular success this year has been the increase in the number of volunteers, which bodes well for our future ability to open new sections and reduce our joining list, which despite our success continues
We were pleased this year to see the dramatic rise of Scouting in
the Highlands and Islands. Scottish Headquarters was able to provide a programme of local development in the extremely rural communities of Lochaber and Skye, bringing Scouting to even
more young people and volunteers.
But growth is not everything; we are passionate about making Scouting available to all, particularly in those communities that are hard to reach. To this end, in England, we have partnered with the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the Youth United Foundation and now have projects running in Birmingham, Bradford, Burnley, Knowsley, London and Manchester. We have also used our own funds through the Development Grants Board (DGB) to pilot other exciting and innovative opportunities, for example setting up Scouting in Speke, Merseyside.
Such investments in local Scouting have been helped by the success of our commercial activities and last year our trading subsidiaries once again returned over £4m back to Scouting. This has enabled us to continue our development and programme work.
The Duchess of Cambridge continued her role as an Occasional Helper and our Chief Scout, Bear Grylls, continued his visits to Scout Groups across the UK. In Northern Ireland he met over 5,000
people in just three hours, this being just over half of the Scout population. This visit may well have contributed to the 3.6% growth seen in Northern Ireland.We have maintained a high and very positive media profile during the last year, and the Duchess’ visit
to Great Tower, one of our National Activity Centres, where she took part in training activities, was one of the many highlights.
We constantly ensure that our programme remains relevant for
today’s young people, who have been heavily engaged in developing the updates to our programme that were agreed this year.
Scouts helped inspire and encourage the entire nation when they carried the Olympic Torch and volunteered at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. We were the lead organisation
in lighting the Torch for the Paralympics and Scouts lit a flame at the of summit the highest peaks in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Last year the first Scout Community Week took place with over 2,000 Groups involved. This year Scouts and volunteers all over the UK got into the community spirit once again and helped improve their local areas while raising money for Scouting.
With so many activities going on in Scouting it is not surprising that
accidents happen. While serious accidents and injuries are very rare,
we still make safety a priority and have increased the support offered
to our leaders to enhance our culture of safety. We continue to encourage adventurous activities that are at the core of our success.
Census results for the year ended 31st March 2012/13