Over the last five-years, over 1500 new Scouting groups have opened thanks in part to start-up grants donated by Masonic charity. Scouting and Freemasonry have long enjoyed a close relationship and since 2008 over £780,000 has been donated to the Scouting movement.
The start-up grants help to provide much needed equipment, programme materials and uniforms for young people. Membership fees are also covered for the most disadvantaged young people.
Local Freemasons also offer further support for Scout groups by providing premises for meetings, helping with governance and advising on fundraising.
In 2015, Freemasons gave £211,000 to the Scout’s Better Prepared Campaign which aims to bring the benefits of Scouting to the most deprived areas of the UK by 2018. Over 200 communities and 1,300 disadvantaged young people have been helped as part of the Better Prepared project.
The funds have helped the Scouts tackle key barriers to providing Scouting in deprived areas, including addressing the shortage of adult volunteers and suitable premises.
Commenting upon the funding partnership Paul Wilkinson, the Better Prepared project manager said
“Our mission is to help young people grow, develop and take an active place in society. We welcome the generous support from Masonic charity in helping us reach out to new communities, especially those otherwise let down by society. Our aim is to create 1,320 new spaces for young people and recruit 66 adult volunteers. Funding from Freemasons is essential to help us meet these targets.
Each year Scouting helps 450,000 young people in the UK enjoy fun, friendship and new adventures.
Scouts have been presidents, prime ministers, entrepreneurs and pop stars. They have climbed Everest, stood at the South Pole and walked on the moon. Scouts are also teachers, social workers – the people who make society work.
It’s not just young people who can get involved. Working alongside the youth membership are thousands of adult volunteers in a huge variety of roles.
Mike Woodcock, Trustee of the Masonic Charitable Foundation said:
“We are incredibly pleased that our support will help to establish Scout Groups in some of the most deprived areas across England and Wales.”