Diversity and Inclusion

Scouting is an inclusive, values-based movement and membership is open to all those who share our fundamental values.

Welcome to the Derbyshire Scouts Diversity and Inclusion pages. Here parent/carers of young people and adult members of Derbyshire Scouts can obtain support on all aspects of diverse and inclusive Scouting. These pages aim to answer frequently asked questions and signpost to sources of guidance to help ensure young people with additional needs and diverse backgrounds are included as much as possible in Scouting opportunities.

The Scout Association is committed to being inclusive of all young people, regardless of background, beliefs, ability or disability and has a clear Equal Opportunities Policy. This policy is reflective of the ethos of Scouting nationally and in Derbyshire, expressed by our fundamental values (integrity, care, co-operation, respect and belief) and our commitment to delivering Scouting for all.

Toria CrooksACC Inclusion

This section of the page is for adult members of Scouting in Derbyshire and aims to direct you to support and information, whether it be for yourself or for the young people you support through scouting.

What can we help with?

Male leader supporting Beavers

The aim of this page is to signpost you to support for questions on any aspect of diversity and inclusion as well as where to find practical help to support youth members or adults with additional needs.

The Scout Association provides guidance and support on aspects of physical disabilities, behavioural challenges, additional needs, mental health support, racial/religious inclusion, gender and sexuality inclusion, as well as advice about including individuals from different cultures, religions and socio-economic backgrounds.

The Inclusion team can also provide:

  • Support/resources for running Disability Awareness sessions for your young people.
  • Training sessions/workshops - on Inclusion, Awareness and on specific areas of Inclusion, Equality and Diversity.
    Please ask if you as an individual or group would like face to face training delivered in your area.

If you don't ask the question - you won't know if we can help!

If you would like to talk/email for further support or advice e.g. about supporting a specific need please contact the ACC Inclusion

What are additional needs?

Additional need is any personal condition or situation that could make it more challenging for a young person to participate fully in Scouting.

The Scouting For All pages of the UK Scouts website contains information about a wide range of additional needs. At the time of writing this includes:

  • Allergies
  • Coeliac disease
  • Asthma
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • ADHD
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Bedwelling/incontinence
  • Diabetes
  • Down Syndrome
  • Dyslexia
  • Dyspraxia
  • Epilepsy
  • Hearing loss
  • Hyperactivity
  • Juvenile Athritis
  • Learning Difficulties
  • Literacy Difficulties
  • Migraines
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus
  • Stoma, Tourette's Syndrome
  • Sign Loss.

Is there specific advice to support autistic young people?

Scouting attracts both autistic young people and adults. A large number of enquiries received relate to how to support Autistic individuals. There is no reason why, with the right support, autistic individuals cannot access all that Scouting has to offer.

Visit the Scouting For All Autism section of the UK Scouts website for some fantastic resources both to help you make adjustments for autistic young people and to increase your knowledge about support autistic adults and young people.

The website includes:

There are also pre-made visual resources and social stories which you can use to support young people.
Read about social stories and how to use them here: https://www.autism.org.uk/16261.

If you still need more support, then please do contact us.

Mental Health

As a Scout leader you are not responsible for diagnosing mental health problems or expected to be a mental health expert, but you might notice behaviours or signs that a young person in your group is struggling. If you are concerned about a young person's wellbeing, try to stay calm and have a conversation with the young person, or where appropriate their parent/carer. You can find further advice here.

Adults in Scouting with disabilities/differences

Beaver in wheelchair

Most adults can volunteer with UK Scouts, providing they support the ethos of scouting and our fundamental values. If you, as an adult, have an additional need or disability which needs consideration to enable you to volunteer please speak to your local Group Scout Leader or the area District Commissioner who can help put support in place. You can also contact Toria, Assistant County Commissioner for Inclusion who can discuss potential volunteering options and support with you.

I identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community - Can I volunteer?

The simple answer is definitely. Discrimination in scouting is not acceptable and we support all individuals to join us. You may even have an insight or experience that can help young people questioning their own gender/sexuality.

Help us to help others!

If you have experience with any aspect of diversity and inclusion and think that your knowledge could help others run inclusive scouting, why not join the County Inclusion Team? We'd love to have you!

Frequently Asked Questions

My Child has additional needs- can they come to Beavers/Cubs/Scouts?

We will certainly try our best to support your child to access scouting experiences. Many Groups in Derbyshire already have one or more young people who have needs that are in some way particular to them. Their aim is that young people are seen as individuals and that they are regarded equally as Members of the Movement, whatever their abilities. There is flexibility within Scouting and in Derbyshire we will work with parents and carers to make reasonable adjustments wherever possible to support the inclusion of any young people with neurodiversity, disabilities and/or additional needs.

My child is autistic- will Scouting support them?
Cubs on High Ropes

We believe everyone, regardless of their additional needs, should be able to participate in Scouts.
With the right support, there is no reason why a young autistic person cannot fully access Scouting.

To help with this it's really important that you tell us about your child's strengths and differences/needs. When your child starts a group, the leader will find out more information from you by completing a short questionnaire which will help us get to know you and your child.

Can I come and help my child?

If you think your child needs support that only you can provide than please talk to us. We are always happy to have extra volunteers in Scouting and you will likely be welcomed by your child's group. However, Scouting also gives young people opportunities to develop skills and independence outside of their homes and schools and it may be that this is difficult if you are always present. There is not a one-size-fits-all solution to supporting young people with complex needs and we will work with parents to make the best plan for your young person.

Is Scouts a religious organisation?
Diverse learning skills

The Scout Association is an inclusive and values-based Movement. Membership is open to young people and adults of all faiths and beliefs, including the absence of an affirmed faith, humanists or atheists, who share our values.

Our values are integrity, respect, care, belief and cooperation. A key element of the programme is spiritual development and exploring different faiths, beliefs and attitudes. There are a range of variations of the Promise (a commitment made by all members), to account for different age ranges, faith and beliefs and nationalities (including those who are stateless).

My religion means my child may not make every week or has specific dietary/prayer requirements - will this be a problem?

All beliefs and faiths are welcome at Scouts. Please explain to your child's leader what the requirements of your faith are and your leader can then make the adaptations needed where possible to support your child to get the most out of Scouting whilst not compromising on their beliefs.

My child is questioning their sexuality or identifies as LGBTQ+, will they be welcomed?

All young people are welcome in Scouting irrespective of gender or sexuality. If you feel it is appropriate to talk to your child's leader about their gender/sexuality/mental health then please arrange a time to do so and they can then ensure they are including the young person and, for example are using the correct pronoun, have considered changing arrangements at camps and so on. Derbyshire Scouts attend Pride events

Help us to help others!

Do you have experience with any aspect of diversity and inclusion and think that your knowledge could help others run inclusive scouting?
This could be as a parent of a young person with additional needs, or other personal or professional experience. If so, why not join the County Inclusion Team?

No experience of Scouting is necessary but you could help other leaders across Derbyshire include more children in Scouting. We'd love to have you!