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The past year has been one of the most challenging in the Groups 80+ years of existence. The programme that we have been able to offer certainly isn’t what we planned early on in 2020. However, we’ve adapted and made sure we kept the experiences and connections going with our young people as much as possible with regular contact and online meetings. The feedback we have been given is that our young people still value the skills, fun and friendship Scouting offers and as we all adapt to life under different restrictions, we hope to be able to offer regular section meetings later this year.
Not only have we not been able to hold any face-to-face activities, we have not been able to hold any of our fundraising events, and have had no income from letting out our HQ. We normally raise around £7,500 per year from events such as the Pantomime, Gang Show and Christmas Fayre, and not being able to hold these has had a significant impact on our finances. We have also not been charging termly subscriptions for our 100+ Young People for nearly a year. Due to the fact that the HQ is assessed as part of the Church premises, the business rates exemption means we are disqualified from applying for financial support from the local authority under the various business and charity support schemes that are open to other Scout Groups.
Despite this, we have still had significant outgoings, there is a fixed membership fee which the Group still has to pay for each child every year, whether we’re meeting face-to-face or not. This covers essential services, including insurance, safety and safeguarding, vetting checks, developing new badges, providing essential training for volunteers and so on. There are also utility bills and costs related to the upkeep of our premises. We expect our overall outgoings for this current financial year will total approximately £4,000 for HQ running costs and approximately £5,000 for membership subscriptions.
As we have not been charging termly subs recently, we would like to ask parents/carers, if they are able, to consider making a voluntary donation to the Group to help cover our annual costs. We are very aware that this year has seen many families face financial challenges and so if you are not in a position to make a donation this will not affect your child’s membership of the Group.
A number of past members and group supporters have also asked if they can support the group. We have therefore set up a donate button at the top of this article so that people can donate via our secure PayPal account.
If anybody is interested in donating but would rather do so via another method, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would like to give our heartfelt thanks to everyone that makes a donation. As an organisation we are reliant on fundraising, donations and subscription payments. All donations will allow us to continue to provide high quality Scouting for Young People in the local area.
Jenny Owens and Sandra Goodwin
Group Scout Leaders