Stage 1 : Identifying the Need

Week 1: 

Paul (a Young Leader) ran the programme for the week. Paul decided to see what issues matter to the Scouts. As it’s UK Parliament Week, he thought it would be good for the Scouts to think about the issues that are important to them and then hold a vote to decide on which issue to learn more about. Paul asked each of the patrols to think about two issues that matter the most to them and why. Claire, the Scout Leader, then ran a game with the Scouts, while Paul collated the issues and set up a voting booth. 

Paul then played a short pre-recorded video from the local MP explaining what voting is like in the House of Commons and why it’s important for young people to get involved in democracy. After the video, each patrol talked about their chosen topics and then the Scouts get to vote, they do not have to vote for the topic that their patrol presented. Once everyone has voted, Paul asks two Scouts to count the votes and then he announced that the group had chosen homelessness as their topic.  

Week 2: 

Before the next meeting, Paul, with the help of Claire, planned how to explore the issue of homelessness further. They decided to use an ‘off the shelf’ activity from the Scouts Website: “A safe bridge

The activity helped the group have a discussion on homelessness and the ways people become homeless. To help the Scouts understand how this affects their community, Claire talked about how many people are homeless in their area using statistics provided by the local council.

Stage 2 : Plan Action

Weeks 3 and 4: 

Claire took the lead this week as Paul has some exams on, however, Paul had prepared everything in advance of the meeting. The Scouts ran two activities this week - the first activity, Unfair rules, highlighted how some rules make life tough for homeless people. The second activity, What do you believe, explored what being homeless means - tackling the stigma and displacing myths. The Scouts then discussed how they wanted to take action on homelessness. 

The Scouts decided that they wanted to take part in a Sleep Out to highlight homelessness. To do this, Claire and Paul spoke to the local council who were running a 'Sleep Out' initiative to discuss how the Scouts could take part. The young people had visits from the local police, the council, and the local support team from the charity Crisis to discuss homelessness and to talk about how their Sleep Out would help raise awareness of homelessness. 

The Sleep Out was carefully risk assessed and Claire spoke to the parents to highlight how the event would take place.

Stage 3: Take Action

Week 5: 

The Scouts had made plans to stay in the council car park for their sleep out. They ran several activities through the evening that explored the theme of rough sleeping and homelessness. The young people had sleeping bags and stayed outside. The Scouts also used the night to discuss what they have learned about homelessness, how taking part in their Sleep Out had made them feel, and if it had changed their perception of homelessness. The Scouts also thought about what else they could do to take action on this issue.

Photos and videos of the event were captured and a press release was drafted to be sent to the local paper after the Sleep Out.

Stage 4: Learn and Make Change

Week 6:

Following the event, Paul ran a feedback session with the young people. The young people talked about how the event went, how the different activities have changed their thinking about homelessness, and also about what parts they had enjoyed or what hadn’t gone to plan. They identified areas that they could continue to learn about homelessness and planned how they would share what they had learned with the wider community. This helped Paul understand what had worked well, which links to the young leader modules.

The group used this week to record short videos about what they had learned. They used this footage, along with pictures and videos from their sleep out, to create a video that could be shared on social media. They planned a launch event and wrote invitations to journalists, Councillors, Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs), and Parents.

Stage 5: Tell the World

Week 7:

The young people hosted an event at the Scout Hall. At the event, they showcased their video to journalists, Councillors, MSPs, parents and other members of their Scout Group. The video was then put on social media.

The evening was a great success and was featured within the local newspaper and across a range of social media channels. The group tracked how many people had watched, shared, and liked their video.


All activities must be safely managed. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.