Legacy donations can create special moments

Borders college scouts - kielder

To mark Remember a Charity Week, Lisa Cowan reveals how legacy donations can support vital work

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13th September 2019 by TFN Guest 1 Comment

The 9 to 15 of September is Remember a Charity Week. Even a small gift in a will can make a huge different. The theme this year is ‘pass on something wonderful.’  We wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate something wonderful that a generous gift from one of our supporters has allowed us to do in the Scottish Borders.

Scouts Scotland was left a donation to ensure that children, young people and adult volunteers gain even more opportunities to build skills for life through scout activities and adventures. This legacy has allowed us to fund a local development officer to work with our Borders district.

Part of this work is to help scouting reach new communities. In particular, the role has supported the development of a newly formed partnership with Borders College where students and lecturers have formed a scout group on the college campus.

The group includes young people with additional needs who may not have had access to The Scouts before. Their lecturers have trained as leaders and on hearing that scouts would form part of their regular timetable, the students were excited about the prospect.

The partnership has begun to deliver a tailored scout programme every Friday afternoon with a focus on independent living and employability skills. The Explorer Scouts will take part in life changing activities where they will earn badges recognising their achievements. These opportunities not only offer new ways to learn skills and have fun, but will also help them to move forward with greater confidence.

Lisa Cowan

Lisa Cowan

The legacy funding has also nurtured a positive relationship with the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project. This has led to the creation of the local Golden Eagle Champions Award which encourages scouts to engage in conservation activities with a focus on raptors. As a result, the new scouts at Borders College will gain the chance to work with conservation specialists to learn about environmental protection efforts in their local community.

Their first Golden Eagle Champion activity was to visit the Kielder Water Birds of Prey Centre to learn more about the types of raptors their efforts will help to protect. The look of wonder and excitement on their faces was clear, but many of the young people were nervous. This was the first time that some of them had ever seen the likes of eagles, hawks and owls, let alone feed and stroke some of these magnificent creatures.

“I didn’t expect to get to hold one,” said one of the scouts. “I loved it!”

Some of the scouts were shy, but through participating in the activity they were encouraged to ask questions. They engaged in conversations with centre’s staff and stretched themselves out of their comfort zones. The visit provoked discussions around the importance of caring for animals and options for employment. Their first scout trip was a success and the young people left for home all the better for their afternoon at the edge of Kielder Water.

This is just one of the instances where a legacy has made a direct difference to the lives of young people in the Scottish Borders. The funding of a local development officer has enabled The Scouts to extend into different communities and giving more young people the chance to learn Skills for Life.

If you would like to find out more about leaving a legacy to support Scouts Scotland please contact Ally Caulfield at [email protected]  

Lisa Cowan is local development officer for Scouts Scotland

15th October 2019 by Lucy Couper

I would like to say that I think this is an amazing project. The work that the Lisa Cowan, the local development officer, has done is outstanding. The partnership created with the College means the students learn so much more about life, the environment and the opportunities it holds. Lisa is a credit and fantastic assist to Scouting Scotland.