Press release

Targets smashed as more and more kids try new activities

Eric Pickles met young people who have benefitted from the Supporting Inclusion Programme and saw first hand how it had changed their lives.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Eric Pickles meeting vounteers

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles met young people who have benefitted from the hundreds of new Scout, Guiding or Cadet units set up in the last 2 years thanks to government funding.

In 2012 the government announced a £10 million cash boost to help train thousands of new volunteers for members of Youth United – national youth groups like The Girls’ Brigade, Fire Cadets and St John Ambulance.

Over the past 2 years, in areas where youth volunteering organisations had only a limited presence, an incredible 627 new, permanent, self-sustaining cub packs, guiding patrols and cadet troops are now established far exceeding the original target of 400.

Nearly 12,000 new places have been made available for young people providing the opportunity to learn teamwork, leadership, self-confidence and communication skills as well as experience new activities thanks to the army of local volunteers recruited by Youth United’s member organisations.

At a Parliamentary reception, Mr Pickles met young people who have benefitted from the programme and saw first hand how it had changed their lives.

Eric Pickles meeting a cadet

Speaking at the event, Eric Pickles said:

Our great youth groups like the Scouts, Guides and Cadets have a tremendous history of providing unique experiences and activities that young people cherish, but that’s only half the story. They foster life-skills that will last them the rest of their lives and help nurture bright, confident young men and women with a keen sense of adventure.

Over the past 2 years, with our help, Youth United has recruited a new army of local volunteers to run cub packs, girls’ brigades and cadet troops – providing young people of all backgrounds with the chance to try a whole host of exciting and challenging activities together whilst instilling in them respect and responsibility for others so they become great citizens of the future.

Eric Pickles meeting St John Ambulance volunteers

Youth United Chief Executive Lindsay Levkoff Lynn said:

It’s a testament to the hard work of our network that the Supporting Inclusion Programme has exceeded its targets in providing new opportunities and engaging more young people, but this is just the beginning.

What we’ve proven with this programme is that we have a model that works. The development workers enable us to expand into areas where we’ve never been before, to provide opportunities for young people - and that lays the foundation for our future growth.

Read Case studies about local volunteers (PDF, 131KB, 2 pages) .

Further information

Youth United is a charity established by the HRH The Prince of Wales and supported by The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation. Youth United organisations work to co-ordinate and lead action across the coalition of the major youth volunteering organisations which collectively provides volunteer-led volunteering opportunities for 1.5 million young people.

The Youth United member organisations are: Air Training Corps, Army Cadets, Boys’ Brigade, Fire Cadets, Girlguiding UK, The Girls’ Brigade England and Wales, Marine and Sea Cadets, Scouts, St John Ambulance, Volunteer Police Cadets.

In February 2012 the Secretary of State Eric Pickles announced £10 million funding for Youth United to ‘kick start’ 400 new youth branches. As of December 2014, 627 branches have been established creating 11,741 new places for young people and around 2,300 new adult volunteers.

The government wants to achieve more integrated communities and to create the conditions for everyone to live and work successfully alongside each other. The Department for Communities and Local Government funded Youth United’s Supporting Inclusion Programme to help young people take a fuller part in local and national life.

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Published 11 December 2014