South East Scotland Regional Scout Council

Regional Development Project Review August 2015

Targets and Outcomes (2010-2015)

Below are details of targets and outcomes that were achieved during the five years of the development project. As with the general approach to development, the achievement of many of the project’s targets and outcomes was not solely attributable to (nor the responsibility of) the Local Development Officer, and in the light of significant development across the Region over the last five years, the input of many section, Group, District and Region volunteers must be recognised.

A colour scheme is used to identify targets achieved (green), targets narrowly missed (amber), and targets missed (red). Comments on particular targets are given below.


Figures at Jan 2010 Census Figures at Jan 2015 Census Figures at end of project (if known) Target for end of Project (Aug 2015)
Number of young people (1) 5317 6723 6450
Adult leadership 950 1169 1104
Organisational support (2) 225 265 273
Total membership 6492 8129 7827
Beavers 1383 1865 1735
Cubs 1924 2262 2237
Scouts 1530 1942 1843
Explorer Scouts 462 644 595
No of Groups (3) 93 90 91
No of GSLs (4) 56 56 65
Groups with LDO-supported development plan (5) 0 35 42 42
Districts with a Development Plan Unknown 7 7 7
% of youth membership which is female 6.8% 10.6% 10.0%
Number of sections 293 335 324
Number of Districts with a yearly Youth Forum (6) 1 2 2 4


  1. A 26.5% growth in the number of young people was achieved over the last five years, mostly through new sections being started. This included several new sections in areas of socio-economic deprivation, rural areas and sections working with Special Needs young people.
  1. The under achieving of the organisational support target is mostly likely attributable to the change in Scout Fellowship to Active Support Units, which resulted in a reduction in the numbers registered as members. The non-operation of the Compass database at Census 2015 is also likely to have had a reducing effect on the total number.
  1. The reduction in the number of Groups, despite such growth, shows that many Groups have either been adding sections or increasing the size of sections. The statistics hide the fact that several new Groups were started through the work of the development project
  1. The figures show that the number of GSLs remained static over the five years despite effort being put in to recruit new GSLs. However, this hides the achievements of the project in recruiting a number of GSLs, without which the total would have dropped.
  1. The number of Groups who participated in a Group Development Day or individual meeting with the LDO was less than we aimed for though positive feedback received by all that attended. This miss may be due to timing of events, on-going issues within the Movement (Compass), lack of communication about the project being read at a local level, or misunderstanding about what “development” encompasses – several of these points are expanded in the lessons learnt below.
  1. In working towards this target over years 4-5, the Districts felt that we needed to start at a Regional level first and thus ‘March Madness’ was run. This “sowed the seed” we believe and hope to see Youth Forums develop more locally in the years after the project.

Other outcomes that were achieved include:

  1. Support to DCs: a mentoring scheme for new District Commissioners was established in 2010 but this outcome changed during the course of the project as a Boundary Review took place. A number of new DCs were appointed at that time, several of whom received support from a mentor over the first year. The DCs were given training at a Regional Development Day in March 2012. There has also been on-going personal support given by the Regional Commissioner and ARC Development to DCs, as well as development input at Regional Team days. Work was carried out with each DC/District Team to produce a development plan for their District.
  1. Support to GSLs: a Regional Conference was run in October 2010 to which all GSLs were invited. Several workshops on Group Development Plans and Adult Recruitment Workshops have been offered in each year of the project. A GSL Day in February 2013 gave direct support to GSLs.
  1. Training support: the LDO co-ran some Getting Started training days due to high demand from new volunteers following on from development work.
  1. Sharing of good practice: at the Regional Conference in October 2010, the Borders Development Days (2012, 2013, 2015), Midlothian Development Day (2015) and at the Group Development Days and other sessions run by the LDO there have been opportunities for the sharing of good practice. A training day for all ADCs (Programme) was held in April 2013 after which “Programmes in a Box” was purchased and issued to all ADCs and Groups/Units in the Region.
  1. Partnership working with Local Authorities: across the four local authority areas within the Region there was already acceptance of the role played by Scouting in the provision of universal youth work. The introduction of the LDO enabled contacts to be made at different levels and to engage practically. As a result invitations to the LDO to be involved in short-life working groups and committees were extended. Examples include the South West Edinburgh Youth Work Providers group, Berwickshire Youth Sub-Group Committee, and East Lothian Voluntary Organisations Network, and participation in events run by the Edinburgh Youth Work Consortium.
  1. Recruitment events: the LDO attended various recruitment events including 8 student fairs, 12 volunteer fairs, 5 Job Centres, an event at Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre, local community events, 4 visits to the National Museum of Flight Airshow (resulting in two new sections starting), the Edinburgh Mela and events in local schools. The LDO and other South East Scotland Region members also helped man the Mobile Display Unit from UK HQ at the Royal Highland Show in June 2011. ‘Taster sessions’ were delivered for adults not currently engaged with Scouting in the work carried out to support the exploration and/or starting up of Scouting in Coldstream (though a Group did not begin), 102nd Craigalmond and Sick Children’s Hospital. ‘Taster sessions’ for young people not currently engaged in Scouting across the Region were offered via several visits to primary and secondary schools and attendance at various events.
  1. Support to Regional communications: working with the ARC (Communications) a communications review was completed in September 2010. A small Media Team was established in year two of the project and a few individuals were recruited via volunteering websites for this aspect of work. Opportunities were limited for the team due to lack of an ARC Communication at the time. The employment of a 10-week Internship over the summer of 2013 provided useful information for this Communications Strategy. The LDO has recruited some potential new members for the Communications Team.
  1. Increasing the opportunities for young people with special needs: opportunities were provided for young people with special needs to participate in Scouting through the starting of a Scout Group at Royal Blind School in January 2013 and another at the Royal Edinburgh Sick Children’s Hospital in July 2014.