Scouts launch voluntary 'bob-a-job' week

Scouts Scouts across the UK will be offering their services in a dedicated week of voluntary action

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Scouts are to volunteer their services in a dedicated UK week of action for the first time almost 20 years after "bob-a-job week" ended.

The Scout Association is to launch Scout Community Week from 14-20 May next year, encouraging its members to do work to help their local community.

Members of the public will be able to contact their local Scouts to suggest community projects.

It is estimated that up to 400,000 young people will be involved.

The original series of scout volunteer weeks was known as "bob-a-job week", and saw members of the public asked to contribute a shilling - worth five pence - in exchange for scouts doing jobs.

Meanwhile, a new report says almost half of all Scouts are now volunteering in their wider community as well as with the Scout movement.

Community action

Adventurer Bear Grylls, the UK Chief Scout, said volunteering was "at the very heart of scouting".

He added: "All Scouts promise to help other people and there is no better way of showing this than getting involved in your community. I hope that as many Scout Groups as possible will get inspired in this celebration of their own community next May.

"This country is full of many people who give of their spare time to make a difference and I am proud to be amongst their numbers. Together we can influence positive change."

Matt Rooney, head of Nottinghamshire Scouts, told BBC Breakfast that the new week of action would be different from the previous one, in that scouts would no longer go door-to-door offering to do work in return for a small donation.

"It's not about rattling tins and brushing leaves off the neighbours driveway. It is about local communities working with the Scouts to decide on projects that they can do to make things better locally.

"So a really great opportunity to get scouting out in the community and try to re-focus some of the work that scouting does because, of course, we are a charity as well as a youth organisation."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 61.

    Good idea. Why it ever disappeared I don't know. Mind you,it will doubtless be fiver-a-job nowadays but thats Ok ,the kids learn and things get done. Can see no fault with it. Some better news at last.

  • rate this

    Comment number 52.

    Cue some idiots saying this is 'elitist' or complaining that it puts kids in harm's way. Bob a Job should never have gone in the first place. Scouts is an excellent way for kids to gain valuable skills that they wouldn't get in school. I remember it was just about the only place that was willing to let me stand up for myself, while my comprehensive school was too busy mollycoddling the bullies.

  • rate this

    Comment number 45.

    People should read the article properly! It states clearly that they will not be going around doors.

    I think it's a jolly good idea. There are many benefits for the boys: learning to work as a team; learning to show respect to their community; learning new skills; experiencing the outdoors; feeling pride in making their communities nicer places to live etc.

  • rate this

    Comment number 42.

    I used to hate bob-a-job week! I did not like knocking on the doors of strangers and they disliked it in equal measure. On the other hand it did mean that proceeds for the Scouts came through actual work. I do not like Scouts doing bucket collections in our local store. That is begging. Girls are now allowed into the scouts. Should they be knocking on strangers' doors?

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    I was in the cubs, scouts and air cadets and loved every minute of it. I remember bob-a-job week, cleaning cars, shopping for old people, gardening and the like. I used to check in on pensioners during the winter months to see if they needed help with shopping or housework. Sadly that social cohesion seems to have been replaced by mistrust and suspicion. It`s a sad indictment of society today.


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