2023 has been a busy year for the 186th Sheffield (Manor) Scout Group, we’ve welcomed new young people, new volunteers, reviewed how we plan and held some fun events. We have created this update so you can read more about our highlights but also learn about some changes coming soon. At the end you’ll find some important dates for your diaries too.
If you have not joined our Facebook Group yet you can find it here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/186sheffield – we use this to share ongoing updates.
Over the last 12 months the group have been reviewing responsibilities and roles, helping to share out the workload between volunteers and reduce the pressure on individual members.
Part of this review includes trying to improve communication, at present, we know there are delays in replying to emails. To help with this we are implementing shared mailboxes so that between us someone will be able to respond quicker. Although you can still email Craig or Emma individually if you prefer, for a faster response please use:
When we created the group in 2016 we did so with the principle that it should be affordable for all. We have continued to fundraise and apply for grants to support this and we’ve not increased our fees since the original opening. However, in that time the Scout Association and South Yorkshire Scouts have significantly increased the annual capitation fees they charge our group per child and as you may have read in the news this week the Scout Association has announced another increase this year too. Our room hire costs have also increased due to the significant increase in the cost of heating. Last financial year it meant we ran at a loss and this year we predict a deficit too.
As a Group, we have therefore had to make the difficult decision to change our subscriptions for the first time in 7 years. From April 2024 the monthly cost will be £8 per member with no sibling discounts applied. To compare the other local Scout Group charges £15 per month.
Our membership subs will still be payable for 12 months, a total annual cost of only £96 and will continue to include the weekly term time sessions, events, reduced costs for camp and contribution towards trips and outings.
Help with subs will be available but to help aid with transparency and monitoring we will be asking each family who already gets a discount or those who wish for a discount to complete a brief form. This will provide the information we need to apply for grants to cover those children’s capitation and other fees. Please speak to the Treasurer (Victoria G) or Craig/Emma to ask for an application. Or download one here: Activity Subsidy
Even with the increased income from subs the group will need to continue fundraising to keep our average costs lower for all members. We will continue to accept donations towards camps and sleepovers and we have two other ways:
You can purchase items from our online store: https://186thsheffieldscouts.sumupstore.com/
Including new and used uniforms and second time round other goods. Please also consider donating unneeded uniform and camping items to us.
Our Group’s calendar is also on sale at sessions, for £5.
You can also purchase 186th themed gifts and accessories from https://www.cj-designs.net/shop/186th-sheffield-manor-/50
All roles in local scouting are volunteers, there are no paid staff and we are grateful for each and every hour our volunteers give.
In the new year one of our volunteers, Carrie, who has been with us 5 years will be taking a step back. Carrie has supported our Beaver and Cub sections and we are sure we will still see her at events.
Craig and Emma currently volunteer 8 hours per week across 2 sometimes 3 nights per week, they support leading the Squirrels and Scouts as well as being on hand for Beavers and Cubs and the behind-the-scenes admin/management of the group. In the new year due to work commitments, they will need to reduce this.
Despite having 70 children attending per week we also have 102 on our waiting list, and we can only invite new children when we have enough volunteers to create the spaces.
This year we have welcomed new volunteers, Sibylle has joined as a Trustee, Chole is now officially a leader in Beavers, Lucy has joined the Squirrels Team and Daniel after completing the four-week challenge decided to stay on and support the Scout Section. Not all our volunteers give time weekly, we’ve also been grateful for helpers at our camp Precious, Kadie and Abbi.
But we really do need more people to come forward and volunteer, weekly, fortnightly, monthly or ad-oc, your time would be greatly appreciated. Presently we are running with the minimum number of adults needed, but this means we rely on others to give extra hours to cover sickness or we have had to close or reduce sessions. For example, we’d love to do more outdoors, more walks, fires, visits etc but when outdoors we need additional adults to ensure we can keep everyone safe.
Training is required for roles with children, but with the exception of first aid, it can be completed online. Check out the training here https://www.scouts.org.uk/volunteers/learning-development-and-awards/training/learners/modules/getting-started-training/
As a group we use a planning application called Online Scout Manager, as well as being able to use it for badges, registers etc, we can share our planning and events calendars. Below are the links to each section’s calendar, either ‘subscribe’ in your calendar application or bookmark the link to check when you want to. This will let you know not only when sessions are on, but what will be happening.
Important Upcoming dates:
- Monday 18th December doors open at 18:15, starting at 18:30 until 19:30 we have our end-of-year showcase. Families are invited to come and join us for carols, performances from all sections, refreshments and a raffle. It will also be the last chance to get a Calendar before Christmas.
- Christmas break – Monday 18th December will be the last session until Monday 15th January.
- Monday 8th January 2024 at 18:00 (no session for children) Volunteer Team Meeting – new/potential volunteers are welcome to join us too!
- Monday 15th January 2024 at 18:15 we will be holding a parent’s meeting to discuss changes and a potential parent helper rota system.
Annual full group events will continue to include:
- Spring crafts and gathering in Manor Fields Park (Easter Monday)
- Summer Camp (one weekend between July and August)
- Halloween night crafts and gathering in Manor Fields Park (31st October)
- Community Bonfire (5th November)
- Remembrance Sunday (the closest Sunday to 11th November)
- End of Year Group Showcase (the last Monday of term before Christmas)
We are excited to see what the next year brings us, and can’t wait to bring you all along with us.
From Craig, Emma and the volunteer Leadership team.