Girlguiding and The Scouts join forces to open up opportunities and adventure in historic partnership

28 June 2018

Two of the UK’s biggest youth charities today announce a historic partnership to open up a world of opportunities and adventure to thousands of young people across England.

In a revolutionary new project, Girlguiding and The Scout Association will join forces to grow both organisations by opening units in new and existing areas to tackle waiting lists and extend reach to deprived communities. The project aims to help more young people to make a difference in their communities through social action, whilst offering the opportunity to learn new skills and have fun.

The three year initiative will see dedicated growth co-ordinators employed by both organisations working in communities across England to introduce Scouting and Guiding on a sustainable model, sharing learnings and putting young people and volunteers at the very heart of the work. The project will also see the first time appointment of a jointly managed, Strategy and Change (collaboration) Manager.

The charities have set a target of opening over 200 new units and recruiting 3,300 new young members and 768 new volunteers in England, by the end of 2020.

Thanks to a £2.4m joint investment from Pears Foundation and the #iwill Fund, both charities are set to make a real difference to communities across England, enabling the shared vision of more young people becoming engaged meaningfully in social action a reality.

The #iwill Fund is made possible with joint investment from the Big Lottery Fund, using National Lottery funding, and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to support young people to access high quality social action opportunities. Pears Foundation is acting as a match funder and awarding grants on behalf of the #iwill Fund.

Amanda Medler, Chief Guide, said:

Guiding and Scouting have given opportunities to generations of young people over the past century. We know the impact that being a member of our organisations can have on young peoples’ confidence, resilience and skills for life.
But there are still children who don’t currently have access to all the amazing things that the movements can offer. We’re hoping with this partnership, and thanks to the generosity of the Pears #iwill Fund, more girls and young women across England can have their lives changed by guiding.

Tim Kidd, UK Chief Commissioner of Scouts, said:

I am so excited to be announcing our partnership with Girlguiding as part of this project funded by our amazing supporters. The work we have already undertaken with the Pears Foundation has enabled us to learn loads about opening new provisions in areas of deprivation.
Having the opportunity to open more sections in diverse communities is something fundamentally important to both Scouting and Guiding. It means more young people from all backgrounds have the opportunity to experience fun, adventure and learn key skills for life.
What’s more this shows the true power of collaboration. By two of the largest youth organisations in the UK working together, we can achieve much more than apart.

Sir Trevor Pears CMG, Executive Chair of Pears Foundation, said:

We have been proud supporters of both Girlguiding and The Scouts for many years, and know the huge contribution both organisations have made, and continue to make, to our country.  We have seen first hand the positive impact they have on their young members, their hundreds of thousands of dedicated adult volunteers, and our communities.
“We are delighted, through the Pears #iwill Fund partnership with Big Lottery Fund and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, to be able to support this historic collaboration between the two organisations, ensuring that even more young people will have the opportunity to engage in meaningful social action.

The new project marks the first ever joint funding bid for the two charities, which whilst run and managed separately, share a common heritage spanning over a century of enriching the lives of millions of young people giving them skills for life.

The project aims to bring Scouting and Guiding together by working to share knowledge and expertise and promote sustainable growth by opening new groups in England.

Girlguiding will use the generous funds to have a significant positive impact on girls in Anglia, the Midlands, North West England, London and South East England, where the greatest need has been identified. The focus will be on strengthening, retaining and building on existing guiding, in addition to reaching out to new communities, including areas of deprivation and high BAME populations.

The Scout Association aims to expand Scouting in Avon, Leeds and Birmingham areas to provide more opportunities for young people to engage in youth social action, learn key skills for life, utilising part-time staff to open and deliver new provision until it is sustainable to hand over to local volunteer teams.