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Skills For Life > Inclusive

Scouting is an inclusive, values based movement and membership is open to all those who share our fundamental values. 

Scouts is open to all. Scouts are equipped to meet the needs of young people and society – and are being increasingly recognized as such. 

  • Across divided communities: we create greater social cohesion
    Scouts brings 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
    Scouts helps 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
    Scouts gives 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
    Scouts develops skills for life; the character, practical and employability skills that young people will carry with them into adulthood, helping them to succeed.

We don’t only want young people to have the skills to be successful in life, we also want them to feel like they belong in the society they find themselves in and be willing to help people from all walks of life. Since its inception, Scouting has tried to develop and support active citizens. Young people, who take their promise to help other people seriously, are more likely to volunteer, get involved in civic life, and respect other people regardless of their background.

We recently undertook a survey of young people. We wanted to know if young people in Scouting think that active citizenship is important, and whether they put that belief into practice, compared to other young people. To play an active part in any community, you have to feel part of it, valued by it, responsible to it, and feel trust from within it. We wanted to know if Scouts are more likely to feel part of their community and a sense of responsibility towards those within it, compared to non-Scouts. We asked how strongly young people in and out of Scouting agreed with statements relating to acceptance, pride in their community, identifying as a global citizen, reliance on others, honesty and reliability. As well as developing skills for life from our programme; we found that Scouts feel a sense of belonging and responsibility much more often than non-Scouts.

  • 86% of Scouts spend time with people from backgrounds that are different from their own; because of Scouting
  • Because of Scouting, 75% of Scouts are more positive about people from different backgrounds
  • Scouts are 29% more confident playing an active role in their communities, compared with young people not involved in Scouting
  • 99% of Scouts enjoy their time in Scouting

This same survey determined that young people who are members of Scouts are more active, more employable, more curious, more emotionally intelligent, more likely to succeed in teams, more likely to be resilient, more likely to solve problems, more likely to recognise diversity, more likely to have belonging and more likely to be an active citizen.

Merseyside Scouts have taken it seriously to provide 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.

We have delivered targeted projects to train many of our adult volunteers in:
  • Raising Awareness of Inclusivity
  • Supporting Young People with Behavioural Needs
  • Understanding LGBTQ
  • Supporting Young People with ADHD

This has been done by building strong partnerships with organisations such as Mermaids, ADHD Foundation – and we have plans to continue to broaden the topics over the coming months and to develop more partnerships to access specialist knowledge and skills, across the nine protected characteristics.
Additionally, we have opened new provision in some of our poorest communities. Across a range of religions and in special needs schools, including a specialist school for visually impaired young people – where we are also supporting them in national and international initiatives, such as SightBox.

Equal Opportunities Policy

Our Equal Opportunities Policy outlines what we do to ensure the movement is open and accessible; and that people are treated equally and with respect. This policy is reflective of the ethos of Scouting, expressed by our fundamental values (integrity, care, co-operation, respect and belief) and our commitment to delivering Scouting for all. 

By removing any real or perceived barriers to participation, we can ensure that even more young people can enjoy the adventure of Scouting and that Scouting will be as diverse as the communities in which we live.