South East Scotland Regional Scout Council

Regional Development Project Review August 2015

Background, Summary and Acknowledgements

In August 2010, South East Scotland Regional Scout Council embarked on a development project to increase and strengthen Scouting’s role in Edinburgh, Midlothian, East Lothian and the Scottish Borders. This had been made possible through successful funding applications being made to both the UK Scout Association and Scouts Scotland. This support facilitated the recruitment of a Local Development Officer and enabled the project to be funded for three years and then extended for a further two years in light of the positive progress that had been made in the first stage. In contrast to more recent projects across the UK, the project under review had a broad range of outcomes and targets, ranging from starting new Groups and sections, to recruiting volunteer managers, and equipping Groups and Districts to carry forward development on their own. The project was to build on the preparatory work undertaken by the Region before and following ‘regionalisation’ in 2008; the opportunity that the new Regional structure presented gave the chance to listen to the needs of Districts and to build on the previous work undertaken by Community Learning and Development (CLD) student on behalf of the then Edinburgh Area to investigate the additional opportunities within the Region. In addition, the Regional Team examined other projects elsewhere in the country and learnt from those experiences. The project would also contribute to the fostering of a culture of development by seeking to create “development ready” Districts, ensuring District “buy-in” and promoting the concept that development is the responsibility of District Commissioners and their team and that everybody had a part to play. This approach meant that development of Scouting was seen as not solely the responsibility of the project, management group or Local Development Officer, but rather a collective responsibility which the project could contribute to and encourage.

The effect of this was that most of the original outcomes and targets of the project were achieved. Over the five years of the development project:

  • Scouting in South East Scotland has grown by 25% (or 1637 members) to 8129.
  • Youth membership has increased by 26.5% to 6723.
  • Female membership is now at 10.6% (up from 6.8%).
  • The number of Sections increased by 42 to a total of 335.

In summary, it is felt that the project has had a measure of success in achieving many of its specific targets (detail of the other targets has been included below) and contributing to the wider goals of development across the Region. Not all outcomes and targets were achieved, and not every venture was a success, but many lessons have been learnt, good practice accumulated and new approaches tested. We believe that the project has not only left the Region numerically stronger but that Scouting in South East Scotland is also more equipped and “experience-rich” in terms of development. We would like to take the opportunity to record our thanks to:

  • All the volunteers across South East Scotland, both those that worked with and independently of the project, to develop Scouting in their part of the Region. It is only through everyone’s contributions that so much has been achieved.
  • Those volunteers who were directly involved in the project’s Management Group.
  • To our funders: the UK Scout Association, Scouts Scotland, the City of Edinburgh Council, Ponton House Charitable Trust and the Curle Trust.
  • To the nine Districts that comprised South East Scotland Region in 2010 and the reconfigured seven Districts from 2012 whose support, including financial support, was much appreciated.
  • To organisations that partnered with us: the Edinburgh Youth Work Consortium, the Volunteer Centre Edinburgh, STRiVE East Lothian, Edinburgh University Students Association, Edinburgh Napier University Careers Department, Heriot-Watt University Careers Department, Dalry Primary School, With Kids (Edinburgh), Mayfield Easthouses Church, the Royal Hospital for Sick Children (Edinburgh), the Royal Blind School, the National Museum of Flight, the Edinburgh Mela, Third Sector Internships Scotland, Midlothian Voluntary Action.