DCs Blog – Feb 2021

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Message from the CC – Our Census for 2021 is now complete so I would just like to say a huge thank you to everyone who was involved in getting our Groups’ returns in on time. The last 12 months have been extremely difficult for Scouting so you won’t be surprised that the County took a bit of a hit with regard to retaining a number of young people and adult volunteers, across all Sections. However, although I am awaiting the final report from Peter Moretti at HQ, I can provisionally report that thanks to your damage limitation, and what I mean by that is encouraging Scouting to continue and deliver quality programmes albeit on virtual platforms for the majority of the year, we have reduced in young people membership by just 19% and adult volunteers by just 16.8%. Initially they might seem rather large amounts but when you compare these figures with other Counties in the Region and elsewhere in the UK, you will find that we have come out of this rather well, considering. When I receive our HQ Report I will happily share this with you all so that you see where we will need to focus our efforts on rebuilding but I am sure you won’t be surprised to know that Beavers and Cubs Sections took the larger hits. Thanks again for all your support with Census more importantly, for keeping Scouting active during the last twelve, difficult months.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) want to hear from as many young people as possible to inform their policy and help decide what services should be offered to young people outside of school across England. We’ll get in touch with Explorer, Network and Scout Section Leaders in England, as well as Youth Commissioners this week, to encourage young members to complete the DCMS survey by 28 February. At a national level we’ll also make recommendations directly to DCMS, working with Youth Commissioners in England.

Support to help you recruit and re-engage volunteers. Whether you’re looking to re-engage current volunteers or attract brand new ones, we know how important it is to get the right people on board. In the Spring, we’ll be releasing some shiny new recruitment resources to help. In the meantime, why not try the existing resources in the ‘Growing Scouts’ section of our website? We’ve recently made some tweaks and shared some great tips to help people get to grips with volunteering in the current climate, whether they’re joining in online or in a socially-distanced setting.

Join us and celebrate #ThankTwo locally. Scout volunteers across the UK have gone above and beyond over the past year to make sure we’re supporting our young people and communities at the time we’re needed most. On Monday 22 February, we want to thank you. On the day we’ll be launching our #ThankTwo campaign which encourages Scouts to show gratitude by thanking two people and/or groups of people for all they do for Scouts. Across the UK, you may see #ThankTwo posters being displayed in windows. We’d love for you to get involved and think about how you can thank the volunteers you manage. We’ve created a few assets that you can download to help – including a thank you message from UK Chief Commissioner Tim Kidd, images to share on social media, thank you posters and much more. You can also tag those people you want to thank in a message on social media – don’t forget to use the #ThankTwo hashtag so we can see it.

Good Service awards to recognise volunteers who’ve given outstanding service over a number of years. You may want to recognise the efforts of newer volunteers with a Commissioners Commendation award, or award them with the Thanks badge. Or you might want to do something less formal but equally meaningful.