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Record numbers of new Scouts sections open in areas of deprivation.

Figures released by the Scouting Association show 289 new Scouts sections were formed in disadvantaged communities in 2018 as part of the Skills for Life Strategy.

The data shows the Scouting movement’s 5 year plan to open 500 new units in deprived areas by 2023 is well on track with those 289 new sections boosting membership by more than 20,000.  

The Skills for Life strategy builds on the Scouting for All strategy, and sets out plans to grow membership, increase inclusivity, involve young people more in decision-making processes and make a bigger impact in local communities.

Over £7m in funding is being used to support the expansion with £4.5m awarded by the Youth United Foundation and £1.3m from the Pears Foundation in addition to a share in £4.2m government awards.

Tim Kidd, UK Chief Commissioner said ‘I’m particularly proud of the work we’ve done in communities across the UK that may not traditionally have access to Scouts. To be able to give close to 21,000 UK youth in areas of deprivation the chance to develop skills that will help them succeed in life is a real achievement, and is core to Scouts’ ongoing mission of skills for life.

However, despite these record numbers, the Scouts said its waiting list had more than 60,000 young people and more adult volunteers were needed.

Read more here.