Fundraising drive for Birkenhead Scouts as 500 troops face closure nationwide

On the 24th of January 1908, Baden-Powell publicly announced the launch of the Scouting Movement during a visit to the Birkenhead branch of the YMCA (which was on Grange Road at the time.) It was at this event that both the 1st Birkenhead and the 2nd Birkenhead Scouts were inaugurated, making the 2nd Birkenhead Scouts, based on North Road, Birkenhead, the oldest Scout Group in the world.

The Scout Association has a £3m hole in its budget after it lost fees from troops and sales of uniforms and badges slumped, due to COVID-19 restrictions. These restrictions have meant that Scouts weren’t able to attend their weekly meetings.

Matt Jones, District Commissioner for Birkenhead Scouts, said, “We turned to Zoom to help us out and they provided access to the Zoom Pro for all Scout Groups in the UK and we were able to engage with all our Young People online. However, these are a struggle for some of our Young People who simply don’t have the access to the technology at home to take part!”

“Scouting plays a crucial role in the development of young people and supporting communities, particularly in areas of deprivation. Maintaining scouting in these areas is vital.”

Matt Hyde, The Scout Association’s chief executive.

Currently, there are 14 Scout Groups with a membership of 520 Scouts in Birkenhead. Across the Wirral as a whole, there are 51 Scout Groups with 3050 young people attending each week.

“Since the first lockdown was lifted Scouting is now classed as Essential Youth Provision by the UK Government as they recognise the amazing work we do with Young People in preparing better futures for them so we have been offering a blended programme of online Scouting and face to face Scouting.”, Matt Jones said.

For the fundraising effort, local Scout Groups are taking part in a new national campaign called ‘Race Round the World.’ This campaign, which anyone can take part in, even non-scouts, is trying to raise £300,000 for the 500 Scout Groups in the UK that are hardest hit by COVID-19 and includes some Scout Groups in Birkenhead.

Matt Jones explained the reason for the fundraiser,” In January we take our census and are then given a membership subscription bill which pays for all our legal and support services which is around £57 per Young Person. We know that in February when the invoice arrives Birkenhead Scouts will have a bill for approximately £30,000 so we need to raise as much as possible locally to try to keep this cost as low as possible for our Young People and their families.”

“It is vital that we raise as much as we can in Birkenhead to help us survive.

Matt Jones, District Commissioner for Birkenhead Scouts.

To get involved with the national fundraising campaign, people can head to https://www.scouts.org.uk/about-us/support-scouts/race-round-the-world/ 

To keep 100% of your Donation on the Wirral you can email Birkenhead Scouts at [email protected] and they will send their online transfer details. You can also post a cheque made payable to “Birkenhead District Scout Council” to:

Birkenhead Scout Centre,
15 Balls Road,
Prenton,
Wirral,
CH43 5RF