BACKGROUND

In 2018, the next vision for Scouting was launched, a 5-year plan which looked to prepare more young people with skills for life, supported by amazing leaders delivering an inspiring programme. Vision 2023 looked to grow Scouting, making it more inclusive, shaped by young people and having a bigger impact on our communities. #Skills for Life was born.

Whilst a considerable amount of early work was undertaken with focus groups, questionnaires, and discussions across all parts of the movement involving more than 5,000 people, the Covid-19 Pandemic put the brakes on much of the subsequent phases with other priorities and a significant reduction in volunteering capacity. Over the last 12 months, many of the workstreams have been reactivated and there are numerous groups of volunteers and employed HQ staff undertaking much detailed activity built upon that early consultation and feedback. Consequently, the strategy programme has been extended and rebranded as Vision 2025.

SO, WHAT WILL CHANGE ?

We have already seen some of the changes, Squirrel Scouts, introduced last year are the cornerstone of the Early Years pillar. The next phase will be structured around People and specifically, making volunteering with Scouts easier and more fun. This will help us attract more volunteers and, at the same time, encourage our volunteers to stay. The consequence of both, will allow us to provide and deliver even more great programmes and activities for our young people giving them Skills for Life.

We will see changes to how new adult volunteers start their journey with a shortened and more direct process. Our approach to adult training will see an innovative approach and format with learning available in smaller and more accessible units. The way in which adults work at Group, District and County levels will see changes in leadership and support structures making roles simpler and much clearer to work and understand.

Other pillars of the Strategy cover Programme, Perception, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, and greater use of Digital Skills

DIGITAL SKILLS

One of the primary pillars of Transformation is to increase the use of Digital Tools so that, for many elements it is “Digital First”. Our digital strategy supports our members, grows our movement, and puts our people at the heart of what we do.

Becoming a digital first organisation allows us to transform the Scouts experience. It helps us produce tools and services for our volunteers, staff and young people which are easy, enjoyable, engaging and efficient. Being digital first isn’t about being digital only, and it’s not about being digital for the sake of it.

To help our volunteers learn about, understand and use Digital Tools, the Scouts Website has a dedicated area which provides useful information – see below for link.

NEW DIGITAL MEMBERSHIP SYSTEM

A key element of Transformation will be the introduction of a new Membership  System. This will be accessible to all adult volunteers through a single sign on from within the Scouts.org.uk Web pages. The new system will incorporate three areas covering

  • New member joining
  • Membership Records
  • Learning

For some members there will be a requirement to change the e-mail address that they use for Scouting. This is because the underlying database that the membership system runs on expects a single email address per user. Where this not unique, records are unable to be stored. As this membership record will also form the basis for DBS’s we need to ensure the correct person is processed. Those impacted will receive guidance in the coming months to remind and help them with this change.

The system will be launched in 2023, read about the latest on the system by clicking the link below

TESTING HUB

This is an area within Scouts.org.uk website which displays the current thoughts and ideas being worked on across several elements. In addition to an updated overview, there are sections covering; Making Scouts more Inclusive, More Support for Adult Volunteers, A Warmer Welcome to our volunteers, Changes to how we Learn. Each includes some short video presentations, informative text and, an opportunity to provide feedback to HQ. To date, there have been over 10,000 visits to the Testing Hub.

Please remember however, this is a “testing hub,” it is not the definitive model or what will be happening. The idea is to get feedback from a wide population as well as drip slowly the ideas around change in line with the Vision 2025. To access the Testing Hub, click below.

CHANGE

Change can bring uncertainty, discussion, debate, and some resentment, which is inevitable of many changes in which we are engaged. There will also be work to undertake, sometimes against some stretching deadlines so it may not all be “plain sailing.” Change does, however, also bring reward, refreshed interest, improvements and reflect the current expectations and environment.

If you want to know a bit more about change, click on the link below for more information from Scouts.

https://www.scouts.org.uk/volunteers/learning-development-and-awards/training/learners/support-resources-for-learners/personal-development-guides/managing-change/

If you have an interest in the theory of change, there are many models around that seek to explain and help through the process. If you search “Change Curve” it will yield a number of articles, videos etc. If you are not sure where to start, take a look at this simple model (Scott & Jaffe Change Model) to get you started. Click on the link below to access the webpage.

https://expertprogrammanagement.com/2018/05/scott-and-jaffe-change-model/

NEXT STEPS

The June All Members Call introduced Transformation and referred to the recent Basecamp where much of the thoughts and plans around the exciting changes was unpacked. We are currently in the “Understand Phase” of the work  however, as we move into the “Planning Phase” from Autumn to the end of the year, we will see more communications and the start of the required actions. In the coming months, I shall be arranging with each District opportunities to present “the story so far” and provide updates and next step plans so do watch out / listen out for these.

The current expectation is that a small group of Counties (which does not include Somerset), will pilot these changes as early as February. This allows time for any adjustments or amendments ahead of the full roll out, currently expected in May 2023.

The cascade, absorption and understanding of those communications is vital to assist the change journey that we are all about to embark upon. This page on the Website will be regularly updated with information, articles, links etc so that everyone, across the County can be part of the transformation to Scouts in Somerset.

In the meantime, do look at the items on the Testing Hub and please, feel free to send your feedback to Headquarters using the tools provided. If you have any thoughts, comments, or questions, please do get in touch by mailing the following address transformation@somersetscouts.org.uk

I look forward to your support in the weeks and months ahead.

Alan Henderson
Transformation Lead
UPDATED 25th July 2022

 

 

Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls