Uniformed youth groups plot web improvements

The government’s Uniformed Youth Fund will help Girlguiding and the Scouts carry out improvements to their online operations.

Joe Lepper | 8th Jan 19
Image shows a group of girl guides cheering. Image credit: Girlguiding

Girlguiding and Scouts are to carry out improvements to their online operations after being handed £1.5m in government funding to expand their reach in deprived areas.

The charities are among nine uniformed youth groups to share a total of £4.2m in government funding to improve support for young people in disadvantaged areas.

The £718,458 handed to Girlguiding will be used to improve the accessibility of its website, as well as expand volunteer numbers, boost training and carry out research into the social and emotional development of young people.

The Scouts’ £781,750 award will help ensure programme materials are made accessible online. It will also use the money to set up 60 new units in areas of disadvantage as well as develop an impact measurement tool for its work with under-13s.

6,000 new places in deprived areas

The money has been handed out through the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Uniformed Youth Fund money, which is being administered by the Youth United Foundation (YUF).

It is estimated that the funding will create more than 6,000 new uniformed group places.

“The new YUF funding announced this week is a huge step forward, and means we’ll be able to start even more new provision,” said Tim Kidd, the Scouts’ UK Chief Commissioner.

“We’ll be building on our work with disadvantaged young people by opening new sections in the top 35% IMD (Index of Multiple Deprivation) areas and areas of child income deprivation. The aim is to provide Scouts within easy walking distance of these areas and where there are good local transport links – easy access is everything. We know that a positive experience of Scouts can increase wellbeing, engagement and achievement in school, as well as reduce anxiety and loneliness.”

He added: “This also means we can extend our reach further into underrepresented areas, especially black and minority ethnic communities, helping us better reflect our communities. With our experience and successful track record, Scouts has a huge role to play in creating a fairer society with opportunities for all. There could not be more important work for us.”

Jeremy Wright, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport added: “Youth groups teach important life skills, build friendships and help expand young people’s horizons. Every child should have the chance to join one of these groups, no matter what background they are from or what area of the country.

“This funding is creating thousands of new places so that even more children can enjoy these valuable experiences.”