Scouts call for extra support during lockdown

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The organisation is facing its most serious challenge in over a century, leaders have warned #NeverMoreNeeded

16th June 2020 by Gavin Stuart 0 Comments

Scouts Scotland are facing the most serious challenge in their 115-year history, the children’s charity has warned.

Speaking to the Daily Record, chief executive Katie Docherty said the coronavirus lockdown had decimated the organisation’s finances and urged the Scottish Government to offer extra support.

"We've had to stop all face-to-face scouting across Scotland, and close our campsites and residential centres. That's having a very serious financial impact upon the charity,” Ms Docherty said.

"We've been writing to Scottish ministers since March, and the responses we get, when we get them, is to tell us to apply to this fund - and we reply saying we have.

"The issue is we have no idea when we can restart scouting. We're having no engagement with ministers on how to ease lockdown on youth work.”

Scottish Labour has backed the call for more aid to be given to the Scouts, with Edinburgh Southern MSP Daniel Johnson urging ministers to come forward with “new plans to expand the provision of emergency funds to ensure youth organisations like the Scouts and the BBs can continue to operate”.

He added: "It's clear from the situation the Scouts and other outdoor youth organisations are facing the steps the Scottish Government are taking are simply not enough.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “We recognise the importance of youth organisations like Scouts Scotland during this challenging time – and that is why we are continuing to fund the youth work sector through our Children, Young People and Families Early Intervention fund which has been extended until March next year. Scouts Scotland have received £60k per year from this fund since 2016/17 to help meet their core costs.

"We are engaging with Scouts Scotland about what further support could be offered and we met with them on 29 May to discuss this .

“Our already published guidance on this recovery acknowledges how essential youth workers will be in supporting young people as learning resumes - and we remain in close discussion with the sector about it resuming services in line with public health guidance.”