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 49.

    I did Bob a Job back in the 70's

    You have to knock on doors and get yourself about .
    Its great preparation for the future , no more so that now .

    Our present generation of young people wont have , secure jobs pensions , cheap Houses , or cheap education .
    They will have to forgae as best they can in the world , and do their best to fight their corner ,

  • rate this

    Comment number 48.

    RE: 39.Nakor

    That may be strictly true but when I was a scout we were told if we missed 2 church services in a row, we would be kicked out. I don't think it was ever acted upon but the threat was there.
    The religious side put me off greatly.

    As for the original article, I think it's a good idea. Getting youngsters helping their community should be promoted wherever possible.

  • rate this

    Comment number 47.

    I lost all respect for the Scouts years ago, when they said athiest boys weren't welcome.
    Why can't the Scouts pledge to the Country?
    They welcome Christians & Muslims, but if your faith doesn't have a sky-fairy, your not in.
    Unless someone can say otherwise...

  • rate this

    Comment number 46.

    Thats the best news I have heard for weeks .

    Helping other people , Its what being British is all about

  • 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 44.

    #2. I'm a girl guide leader and I think you mean the membership we have to pay is usually a census payment every year for each guide and leader. With my guide group this comes out of the subs the guides pay nad any funding we can get. I think it is a good idea the scouts and guides do volunteering and many willbe doing it throughout the year not just for one week

  • rate this

    Comment number 43.

    To ncstrudwick I would say that the Girl Guides had Willing Shilling Week long before the 70s. Why they abandoned it, I can only guess.

  • 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 41.

    My wife tells a story when she was at a girls' secondary school in the 70s. Her headmistress wanted to do something similar to "bob-a-job" and came up with the idea of "Willing for a shilling". Fortunately it never came to anything...

  • rate this

    Comment number 40.

    My scout group is a traditional group and we do Bob-A-Job over two weekends. They are advised not to take on any jobs they feel they cannot do. They usually advise that they are going to be doing jobs on elected weekends to their road and surrounding area and then go around in uniform and perform jobs for people. It is very well supported.

  • rate this

    Comment number 39.


    No one in the UK scouting movement has ever been "Forced to go to church" (unless by a parent of course!).

    It's encouraged yes, and the scouting movement does have long established religous connections, I will admit. But only the American branch are hard liners and exclude atheists and agnostics.

    Religion is encouraged and welcomed. But forced? Never.

  • rate this

    Comment number 38.

    Why does Scouts have to have Bob-a-Job week.? Why can't the government help Scouting out. Kids need Scouting, not to go out begging. I'm a Cub Scout Leader and I hated Bob-a-Job week and will not participate in this at all. Wrong thing for Scouting to do.

  • rate this

    Comment number 37.

    #2 - clearly any Scout leader setting a fundraising target that is a condition of membership should not be a Scout leader. The rare exception rather than the norm I suspect, even decades ago.

  • rate this

    Comment number 36.

    This sounds very positive that local Scout groups can be more involved in their local community projects if they wish, or are able to.

    Our children are grown now - but had great times from a young age in the Scout Movement and went on to be responsible mentors on trips/activities they enjoyed while growing up. They also made life-long friendships that endure today.

  • rate this

    Comment number 35.

    Am I the only one who hasn't noticed that the dates are in term time? so wouldn't really work, and by sounds of it, the kids would be with leaders, so no adults who weren't leaders wouldn't need CRBs unless having unsupervised access. This seems like a large media campaign to me, as lots of group already do community work, but at different times of the year.

  • rate this

    Comment number 34.

    It's disappointing that the BBC has followed the tabloids with the misleading headline "bob-a-job week revived". Not only had the name 'Bob a Job' been changed to 'Scout Job Week' many years earlier, but the new scheme is proposed to be a quite different type of community action.
    It's apparent from the comments that many people don't read beyond the headlines, so get totally the wrong idea.

  • rate this

    Comment number 33.

    I don't mind someone mowing my lawn for 5p.
    So you would support illegal immigrants then?

  • rate this

    Comment number 32.

    #27 - celebrating youth volunteering their time is not a worthy topic?

    I would've thought that it was exactly the right kind of thing to be on HYS. Makes it difficult to moan and be negative though. Is that why you don't like it?

  • rate this

    Comment number 31.

    I don't mind someone mowing my lawn for 5p.

  • rate this

    Comment number 30.

    Presuambly we will all have to have CRB checks before we could employ a bob-a-job scout?

    Personally, glad to see it back it is a win-win thing.


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