The start of February saw two important inclusion focussed events: 

  • 1st February was Time to Talk Day, the nation’s biggest mental health conversation encouraging friends, families, communities, and workplaces to come together to talk, listen and change lives.
  • LBGT+ History Month runs throughout February, providing an opportunity to share the rich and diverse history of the LGBTQ+ community and to help all of us to learn more.
I have made no secret of the importance that Inclusion holds for me and have made reducing the barriers to inclusion within South East Scotland Scouts one of the core aims of our Regional Strategy. Therefore I make no apologies for devoting another of my updates to this important area. 


 

For me personally, one of the highlights of my time in Scouting was joining with others from Scouting and GirlGuiding as well as thousands of others at Edinburgh Pride last year  I have tried hard to raise awareness and support for Inclusion in Scouting and it is clear from talking to many of you that that message is resonating but equally there is clearly a desire for more action to help us to progress our strategic goal and to help make Scouting in our Region more representative of our communities. 

Recognising that Inclusion needs dedicated leadership within the Region I was delighted to appoint Alison Robertson as our new Inclusion Lead last year and am excited for the ideas that she and the new Inclusion Team will introduce. In the meantime, I wanted to highlight some of the ways that all of us can take action to make Scouting in our Region more inclusive. 

Join the Regional Inclusion Team

The Inclusion Team, led by Alison our Inclusion Lead, will be promoting inclusion and diversity in Scouting, sharing good practices going on within Scouting and supporting Groups, Units and Districts.   

If you are interested in joining the team or would like more information please email Alison at alison.robertson@sesscouts.org.uk 

Access the Regional Inclusion Fund

Do you have an idea that you would like to run with your section, group or district to support inclusion locally? To support our inclusion goal in the Regional Strategy, we have an Inclusion Fund specifically designed to help overcome barriers to support young people and adult volunteers participating in Scouting. The Inclusion Fund is open to all Sections, Groups, Districts or Regional led activity.   

 
Find out more and see some ideas of how the funding can be used in this article from the December newsletter. 

Inclusion Learning

In recent years we have increased learning opportunities focussed on Inclusion within the Region e.g. running the Making Adjustments module covering how to adapt Scouting for additional support needs and providing managers within Scouting the opportunity to learn more about supporting the mental health of their teams. We plan to continue this so keep an eye on the training calendar and if you would like something run locally please contact Mary Dick, Regional Learning Lead

Also, if you are interested in a learning experience run by a 3rd party please consider the Inclusion Fund detailed above. 

Demonstrate Inclusion in our Scouting

There are many ways we can show our passion for Inclusion in our Scouting:

  • Represent Scouting at events like Edinburgh Pride. I am pleased to confirm that we will be represented again this year so keep an eye on Regional Comms for how to get involved. 
  • Challenge language or behaviour which excludes or discriminates others and which goes against our Scouting Values. 
  • Share our stories. For Time to Talk Day a few years ago I shared a bit of my own experience. By talking about inclusion we can help to break down the taboos that too often persist around them.   

Whilst there is still much to do, we have come a long way as a Region in this area in recent years. This has only been possible due to our amazing volunteers and so I would like to finish by thanking all of you who have helped us to make Scouting more representative and Inclusive. 

Thank You!

Martin Elliot
Lead Volunteer
South East Scotland Region
martin.elliot@sesscouts.org.uk