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 29.

    #2 "The article is misleading, it wasn't about volunteering, there was a target which was required to be collected for the year's membership of the the association -and which was separate from the local weekly 'subs'"

    Really? Not when I was a cub there wasn't. Are you sure this wasn't some sort of scam by your scout leader?

  • rate this

    Comment number 28.

    Three words will eventually put the kibosh on this idea; Health and Safety.

  • Comment number 27.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 26.

    I quite liked the cubs but stopped going because they forced you to go to church.

  • rate this

    Comment number 25.

    Great idea! I loved it when I was small and will happily give local scouts some job to do.

  • rate this

    Comment number 24.

    If the banner headline had been correct (Scouts in community activity for a week) there wouldn't have been so much publicity OR confusion.

    Isn't this what Scouts were always supposed to do? 'a good deed every day'.

    Just another 'Big Society' publicity getter OR being a 'little' cynical, I wonder if they have any grant applications pending?

  • rate this

    Comment number 23.

    Great idea. It will be great training for when they leave school and cannot get a job although I can totally understand Mike from Brum comment. Society has changed since I was a kid and I am not sure it is the right place for kids to go door knocking although we ourselves would happily try and support their efforts. Perhaps community projects would be best but who would contribute?

  • rate this

    Comment number 22.

    The BBC (and all the other media) is just spreading an old stereotype. This is community work, like painting community halls, cleaning rivers and helping soup kitchens to help people... NOT washing windows or cars for a couple of pence.
    I'm a scout leader and get slagged something rotten for bob-a-job even tho I was 6 when it was stopped!

  • rate this

    Comment number 21.

    If the scouts go to organised events and do specific tasks I am all in favour but joining the never ending queue of beggars on our doorsteps, asking for money that we haven’t got is not my idea of doing good in the community it leave me with a since of guilt I can do without

  • rate this

    Comment number 20.

    Well I have been a scout in different country and have being on bob-a-job week, In my experience we tend to earn more from less well-off neighbourhoods rather than from high class neighbourhoods.

  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    Has it really been 20 years since "bob-a-job week" ended? I'd have thought it would have been 40 years, seeing as the "bob" ended in 1971.
    Great idea though: perhaps the scouts could pop into No 11 Downing Street and get paid 5p for fixing the economy. An inexperienced adolescent in a faintly military uniform could probably do a better job than the current (and indeed previous) occupant.

  • 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.

  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    Also to perkinwellbeck. Dale Farm covers Billericay and Wickford district Scouts as well as Basildon. Whatever your views on the issue is please don't leave nasty comments about a Police force that are just doing their job on a story that is meant to show that people do still want to make a difference in this world.

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    I'm an Explorer Leader in Billericay, Essex. I'd NEVER send my unit to do anything that could put them to harm and would be there to support in whatever activity they wanted to do during that week. Explorers are 14-18 years old and you should all be proud that there are groups of young people who don't want to follow the stereotypes that have been put on them by the media.

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    Really good to hear. But I'm sure it won’t last long because some politically correct zealot will get in banned.

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    Well Scout Job week never really went away as I discovered when I was an SL for a while. It was however not very high profile even in scouting.

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    that's the criminals playing x-box and smoking their faces off on dope in a cell all day, not the scouts who are a noble breed. Good luck to the idea.

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    How wonderful! Last week I hear on Radio Two's Drivetime Confessions of a young scout during bob-a-job week many moons ago ruining a man's "shiny new car" after offering to clean it and this week they're bringing it back. It brings a smile to my face, it really does.

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    Why don't you people read the article before spouting your inanities ? There is not going to be knocking on doors shining shoes in strangers' houses or owt of that ilk. It will be more the removing graffitti, picking up litter, creosoting fences malarkey that convicted criminals should be doing rather than playing x-box and smoking their faces off on dope in a cell all day.

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    Health and safety issues!!?? Somebody is bound to block this project, though I think it's a great idea.


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