Becoming More Inclusive
By our very nature, Scouting is an inclusive and values-based organisation. We want all of our members, with the same fundamental values, to be able to support us in making sure that Scouting continues to be open and accessible to treat people equally, and with respect.
Merseyside Scouts have worked hard over the last few years to provide more training, guidance, and support to our leadership; so that perceived barriers may be removed or programmes reasonably adjusted to allow more young people to enjoy a Scouting experience and develop their Skills for Life too.
Support workshops over the last year have included:
- Raising awareness of inclusivity
- ADHD awareness and support
- Dealing with challenging behaviours
- LGBT+ awareness and support
These various sessions were attended by over 230 adult volunteers, from across the County, who support various sections across the programme. From the sessions, volunteers felt further empowered to support areas of inclusivity that they may have felt they needed more knowledge about before, by gaining tools and good insights to work with and the knowledge of where to go for further support.
Our successful work saw us shortlisted from over 24,000 applicants, and earning a place within the top 10, at the National Diversity Awards. We have also been awarded a community partner award from the ADHD Foundation, for the close collaboration between our organisations in supporting members.
This has been a real success, and over the coming year we want to take this even further. We are dedicating further support to members to help them deal with the real issues faced by our communities and giving them an opportunity to see that Scouting is ready to deal with these challenges. We are preparing our Young People with skills they are going to need in life, and as such it is important adult volunteers are equipped with the right tools and guidance.
As well as continuing our series of inclusivity sessions, we are increasing the topics of sessions on offer. This year we are introducing a ‘Mental Health Champions’ course, that aims to provide the basic understanding of mental health, signs to look out for, and support that we can provide as an organisation, to sign post our members too. But we don’t want to stop there, we are also hosting a Mental Health First Aid course, with the intention of establishing at least one accredited Mental Health First Aider in each of our eleven Districts – working as a team of Mental Health Awareness Co-Ordinators across the County to increase awareness and support.
We would like to thank all our volunteers who have attended the sessions, for their input and sharing of experiences. It is supporting a culture shift of Sections, Units, and Groups moving themselves to become ‘inherently inclusive’ by the nature of how they operate. It has been fantastic to see the amount of leaders conscious of supporting their young people, and other adult leaders, to enjoy a Scouting experience that will be lasting memories.
Have a great Winter break, and we look forward to 2019 together!