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The main headlines and highlights from the 2016 census.
The annual census helps us to identify trends and track development across the Movement. It’s a vital piece of feedback for mapping where Scouting is working in the UK, and where extra support is needed.
This year, the census made for fascinating reading, showing growth in key areas and indicating that we are well on our way to achieving the Vision 2018 goal of having 500,000 young people in the Movement, supported by 150,000 adult volunteers.
We’re really pleased to announce that we now have 573,000 adult and youth members of Scouting – reflecting significant growth within the Movement for the 11th consecutive year. On average, across the UK, 21 new young people join Scouting every single day.
The growth we’re seeing is UK-wide. The County with the highest percentage growth this year was Radnor, Powys, where membership increased by 41%, particularly boosted by a host of new adult volunteers.
Adrian Austin is the Regional Commissioner for Powys. The post was created a year ago in order to develop a more coordinated approach to Scouting in Wales. In Radnor, a new Group has opened and a struggling Group has been turned around by this increased local support.
‘We are continuing to strengthen Groups,’ Mr Austin says. ‘We aim to build resilience: the more people in the Group, the more likely you are to find people to step in when you need help.’
The District with the most growth was Grimsby and Cleethorpes, where 185 boys and 209 girls joined Scouting in the space of just one year.
‘The growth comes from Youth United Foundation (YUF) funding in the County,’ says County Commissioner for Humberside, Liz Fraser. YUF aims to help uniformed youth organisations to grow, as part of their Social Inclusion Programme. ‘Scouting has opened in a school in one of the most deprived areas,’ continues Ms Fraser. ‘The whole school is involved.’
The Group with the highest growth was 24th Picton, Merseyside, which has amalgamated with two others on the brink of closure.
‘Two Groups sadly lost their HQs and merged with a third,’ says Brenda Hope, District Commissioner for South Liverpool. ‘Now, 24th Picton is a full Group with all three sections, a strong leadership team and an active Group Scout Leader.’
Despite the hardships and uncertainty during the past year, the Group is now thriving. ‘Success breeds success. We hope with the strength of the Group we’ll encourage more local kids to attend. It’s a really positive step.’
25% in 25 years
We’re incredibly proud to announce that this year, 25 years after Scouting became a co-educational youth Movement, our youth membership is now 25% female. In Carmarthenshire, which had the fifth highest overall percentage growth, 25% of youth members across the County are female, a figure that has increased by almost 11% since 2015.
Wyn Owen, Area Commissioner for Carmarthenshire, said he was ‘pleased to see the numbers back on course’ after youth membership dipped in previous years.
Carmarthenshire is representative of the wider picture in the UK, where more girls than boys are now joining Scouting, swelling our youth membership to 452,000.
As a volunteer-led organisation, we would not be able to provide our high-quality Programme to so many hundreds of thousands of young people each week without dedicated adults.
The 2016 census shows incredible growth, not just of young people, but also of volunteers. We now support over 115,000 adult volunteers, a figure which has increased in real terms by more than 14,700 individuals since 2015.
Edited by Pint, 15 April 2016 - 02:16 PM.