Scouts announces further redundancies and buildings sell-off to meet Covid-19 losses

The Scouts is cutting 100 posts, around 30% of its workforce, as it looks to tackle income losses amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

This doubles the expected level of redundancies the charity had been considering this summer. In August it announced it was considering 50 redundancies, with the job losses affecting back office and commercial areas. It did suggest at the time that further redundancies were possible.

As well as increasing redundancies the charity has also announced it will look to sell off part of its property portfolio, as well as launch a national fundraising campaign.

"The plan will provide immediate support to local Scout Groups, keep essential services running and protect the future of our 113 year old movement,” said a statement from the charity.

“Facing a major cash shortage and reserves that are run down, we’ve made a set of key decisions to reduce the negative impact on young people and prevent passing further costs onto our members.”

Income losses have arisen during the health crisis through the suspension of face to face meetings and income at its commercial business Scout Store. In addition its adventure centres for Scouts, schools and youth groups continue to be closed.

“Bookings at our conference business are at the lowest ebb,” the charity added.

“Despite using every means available, including using the Government’s furlough scheme, and announcing an increase to the membership fee, further cost saving measures and ways to increase income are urgently needed.”

The charity has made the announcement as it looks to save £2.27m a year.

Its property portfolio reduction sees the number of directly run activity and camping centres reduced from seven to four.

It will also sell hostel and conference centre Baden-Powell House in London. This has suffered from reduced bookings and the building requires a £6m investment “which is not feasible in the current climate”, says the charity.


The Scouts national fundraising campaign is called #RaceRoundTheWorld
and urges Scouts and their families to take part in a sponsored mile or more run in their local area.This aims to raise a total of £300,000.

It involves four teams of Scouts and family members racing each other to be the first to travel 43,000 miles collectively, the distance it takes to get around the world.

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