Celebrating another incredible year.
Yesterday; we held our Celebration and AGM. It was a great opportunity to celebrate our collective successes, hear from some of our young people, recognise some of your Scouting4All successes and thank some of our Community Partners.
Each week, across 146 communities in Merseyside, we give over 8000 young people the opportunity to enjoy fun and adventure while developing the skills they need to succeed, now and in the future. We’re talking about teamwork, leadership and resilience – skills that have helped Scouts become everything from teachers and social workers to astronauts and Olympians. We believe in bringing people together.
We’re part of a worldwide movement, creating stronger communities and inspiring positive futures. Our focus is on preparing more young people with skills for life, supported by amazing leaders delivering an inspiring programme. We are growing, more inclusive, shaped by young people and making a massive impact in our communities. We are proud to say we are a values-based movement.
Our Scout values of integrity, respect, care, belief and cooperation guide everything we do and our impact addresses some of the biggest challenges that our communities face today…
Across divided communities: we create greater social cohesion…
We bring people together. We offer shared experiences and a place to meet those of different backgrounds, promoting mutual understanding and building friendships.
In a time of uncertainty: we help prepare young people to be happy, resilient citizens...
We help young people develop the values, self-belief and belief in others that will help them become confident, active citizens. We offer a place to belong, skills to succeed and are optimistic about the future.
When there is a lack of community engagement: we encourage young people to take an active civic participation…
We give young people opportunities to improve the lives of those around them, taking positive social action in their local, national and international communities.
In an age of increased competition: we improve social mobility...
We develop skills for life; the character, practical and employability skills that young people will carry with them into adulthood, helping them to succeed.
Over this last year; we have seen so much success…
We have continued to grow…
Across Merseyside, we now have 142 Beaver Scout Colonies, 150 Cub Scout Packs, 138 Scout Troops, 36 Explorer Scout Units and 11 Scout Networks. There are now 10,672 members; an increase of 6% since last year, and an increase of 22% over the last 5 years.
We have made an even greater impact in our communities…
Through the Million Hands initiative, our members having been playing their part in nationally mobilising half a million Scouts in support of four social issues chosen by our young people. From dementia to those disabled by society, from improving the mental wellbeing and resilience of our communities to ensuring everyone, everywhere has access to clean water and sanitation. These are big issues of our time, and our young people have been tackling them head on. We have also been developing relationships locally and supporting the work of Merseyside- based charities in their work; such as addressing hate crime and building opportunities for visually impaired young people worldwide. Our Wirral based Groups have also continued their incredible work with the Wirral Charity Post; which partly results in significant grants being made to many Wirral based charities and community groups.
We have further developed youth shaped Scouting…
Youth Shaped Scouting isn't a new concept; empowering young people to decide, design and implement their own programme and experiences is already happening around the County for many years. However, we are focused on supporting more and more young people to engage in decision making and to take ownership; where they would like to. We see young people grow incredibly where this ethos is well implemented.
We are making great progress on our journey to ensure we are inherently inclusive…
We’ve been providing adult volunteers with as many opportunities as possible to understand how to make Scouting accessible to as many adults/young people as possible; as well as provide adequate support and knowledge on how to make reasonable adjustments to their programme to aid active participation. This has been done by building strong partnerships with organisations – and we have plans to continue to broaden the topics and to develop more partnerships to access specialist knowledge and skills, across the nine protected characteristics.
Some of these great successes have been recognised externally too….
We have been awarded Freedom of the City of Liverpool…
During December 2017, we were delighted to receive Freedom of the City of Liverpool from Liverpool City Council, in recognition of the immeasurable contribution that Merseyside Scouts has made to communities across the County.
We have been shortlisted in the National Diversity Awards…
With us being selected as 1 of 124 nominees, shortlisted from over 24,000 nominations that were received by the judging panel.
These successes are the successes of all our members, across our 146 Scout Groups and 11 Districts which serve the communities of Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St. Helens and Wirral.
Recently, we have launched our Skills for Life strategy; underpinned by our new brand. Over the next 5 years, we will continue to support our growth, community impact, inclusivity and youth shaped strategic objectives. We’ll do this by focusing our efforts on supporting ‘our programme’, investing in ‘our people’ and developing ‘our perception’.
It’s a great honour to lead Merseyside Scouts at this time – our members are incredible. What they do is transforming lives and transforming communities – my personal thanks to each and every one of our young people and adults.