We are pleased to announce that The Pears Foundation will work with and support Birmingham Scouts to grow and develop scouting in the County starting a brand new development project in September 2019 running until March 2021.
The project will concentrate on those Groups who wish to start new sections or support existing sections and for those with small numbers. This is fantastic news for our Groups and the project will provide a project team which will offer new full and part-time paid staff roles as well as creating new volunteering opportunities.
The Scouts and Pears Foundation have been working together since 2014 to test new methods of growing Scouting for young people from a wide range of backgrounds and communities across Avon, Gloucestershire and Central Yorkshire. As well as building new provision in this focused area, the project also aims to gather learning that can help grow Scouting and remove barriers to access nationally.
The project will encompass three main inputs which are all based around trying new things to gather learning and achieve the project objectives:
New Ways of Working: The project pilots new staffing models to support growth at a local level. It also encourages innovative ideas and tries new methods.
New Provision: The project produces new opportunities for participation for new adults and young people leading to new Scout provisions. The processes used will be tried and tested and improved to produce an effective lean process to share across the country using different staffing and volunteer models of delivery.
New People and New Places: Involving new staff and recruiting new volunteers and young people. The project engages with and builds collaborations with new organisations such as Housing associations and other community groups. Opening Scouting in new places where young people currently have no access.
The project uses a full and part time staffing model, employing Development team assistants to engage with young people in communities to establish new Scouting provision, or revive existing provision to build and support a group of adult volunteers from that community who can then take over the running of the group
So far the Pears Project has directly enabled around 1,000 new and sustainable Scouting places, supported by over 250 new volunteers. The project has worked with 60 new youth sections, 31 existing sections which are now offering activities on a weekly basis to new communities in the region that did not previously have access to Scouting.
The model has proven particularly successful in traditionally hard-to-reach areas as it allows for concentrated specialist support to be given to a local area to help overcome the specific barriers for that community. The IDTAs are able to spend time getting to know people and identify potential Leaders, as well as helping them to understand the benefits that Scouting brings.
The Pears Projects creates clear examples of how barriers to participation in Scouting are being removed, With The Pears Project having already helped the Scouts offer opportunities to more young people across Avon, the sharing of learning nationwide could hopefully provide thousands more places to young people across the UK in the coming years.
Some useful links on how it all works
To find out more about the project and how your Group or section can get involved we will be holding a drop in information evening on Tuesday the 9th April from 7pm – 9pm at Birmingham County Office, 3rd Floor, The Citadel, 190 Corporation Street, Birmingham B4 6QD. Please feel free to turn up, meet the team and find out how you can get involved.