Blog | Inspiring the next generation of volunteers

Blog | Inspiring the next generation of volunteers

International Volunteers Day is an important opportunity to celebrate the worldwide impact of volunteers. Callum Holt, our Community Impact Lead, tells us why Scouting gives young people a platform to make a difference. 

Every time a young person joins Scouting, they make a promise to help others. Helping people is at the very core of our Movement. Throughout our 110-year history, our young people have provided aid during world wars, collectively driven the famous ‘Bob a Job’ week, and more recently have taken on important societal issues through our A Million Hands initiative.

In increasing times of social, political and economic divisions, Scouting, more than ever, has an important role to play in nurturing the next generation of active global citizens.

More than half the global population is under the age of 30, so as one of Scotland’s largest co-educational youth organisations, we have a real opportunity to make a difference by giving our young people the skills to change the world.

The skills to lead 

Not only does the Scouting programme teach important life skills, such as leadership, teamwork and communication, but it brings together a community of committed adult volunteers who not only give their time to develop our young people but inspire them to give back too.

Our Young Leader Scheme trains and prepares Explorer Scouts aged between 14 and 17 to volunteer, supporting our younger members on their journey through scouting. Many of our Young Leaders continue volunteering as adults.

Community impact

We also support our youth members to help others beyond Scouting. More than half of our Scout groups have signed up to our A Million Hands initiative, which prompts young people to take social action on one of four pressing societal issues.

Through A Million Hands, Scouts of all ages have committed more than 10,478 hours of social action so far this year! Working with Scottish charity partners, Scouts of all ages have visited dementia care centres, worked with local schools to raise awareness of mental health, cleaned up canals, carried out disability audits on public spaces, and much more.

Global citizenship

Our capacity to help extends far beyond our local communities. As part of a worldwide family of Scouting, our young people travel to all corners of the globe to build relationships, deliver change and make a genuine difference to those in need. In recent years, Scottish Scouts have travelled as far as Asia and Africa to take on international community projects in partnership with locals, while enhancing their understanding of different cultures and ways of life, gaining a greater understanding of the world and their role within it.

I am extremely proud to be part of a Movement that doesn’t just encourage young people to say, “I want to make things better” but also gives them the platform to make that change.

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