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| The Scout Association Contact Us

We hope that everyone who comes into contact with Scouting will have a positive experience. However, it is inevitable that on occasions, concerns may arise which require investigation. As the majority of Scouting activity takes place locally within our community it is expected that most of these concerns will be dealt with quickly and courteously in an informal way by local volunteer Leaders. However, it is possible that a complaint may arise that requires a more formal investigation and response. The Scout Association is committed to seeking to resolve these complaints fairly and in the best interests of everyone involved.

How do I make a complaint?

If your complaint is about a matter within one of our local Scout Groups please contact the Group Scout Leader. The Group Scout Leader is the manager of Scouting activities within the Scout Group. They will listen to the complaint and will do their best to answer your concerns. If you feel you do not want to discuss the matter with the Group Scout Leader, or if they cannot deal with your concerns, or if your query is more serious, then our District Commissioner, John Sweeney will assist you (Johne is responsible for managing Scouting across Greenwich Borough). You can contact John by clicking here.

John will acknowledge receipt of any formal complaints within seven days and will past your concerns on to our appropriate Group Manager for investigation. Our aim is to resolve all complaints within four weeks. However, this may take longer depending on the nature of the complaint. If the timescale needs to be extended, you should expect to be kept informed of progress.

Please understand that all Leaders and Commissioners are volunteers and undertake their Scouting roles in their spare time. It may take time for them to give you a substantive reply to your complaint.

What happens if I have concerns about how the original complaint was handled?

If after receiving a response to your complaint you are concerned that it was not handled appropriately, or still consider that you have not had a satisfactory answer, you may express these concerns to the next level of Scouting. If your concern was originally dealt with at Scout Group level this will mean contacting the District Commissioner. If it was originally dealt with by the District Commissioner, then the County Commissioner, Paul O’Brien, should be contacted you can contact him by clicking here.

It is the policy of Scouting that the original response to a complaint may be reviewed just once. This means that once you have appealed against the initial consideration or outcome of your original complaint, and a review has been undertaken and a response made to you, the matter will be closed. No further appeal or review will be possible.

Any appeal must be made within six months of being notified of the outcome of the original consideration. You may be asked to state clearly why you are unhappy with the outcome of the consideration of your complaint, or dissatisfied with the way it was handled.

Background information

As background to the consideration of your complaint, you will find it helpful to understand something of the purpose and structure of Scouting, which are summarised here.

The purpose of Scouting

The purpose of Scouting is to promote the development of young people (girls and boys) in achieving their full physical, intellectual, social and spiritual potentials, as individuals, as responsible citizens and as members of their local, national and international communities.

The Scout method

The Scout method provides an enjoyable and attractive scheme of progressive training, based on the Scout Promise and Law, guided by adult volunteer Leaders. In practice the method is best seen when young people, in partnership with adults, are:

Scouting’s structures

Scouting is provided through Beaver Scout Colonies (6-8 yrs); Cub Scout Packs (8-10½ yrs); and Scout Troops (10½-14 yrs). These Scout Sections are organised into Scout Groups based in a local community and lead by a volunteer ‘manager’ - the Group Scout Leader. In the absence of a Group Scout Leader one of the other Leaders will be designated as the Acting Group Scout Leader.

A number of Scout Groups in a defined geographical area form a Scout District led by a volunteer District Commissioner. Provision for Explorer Scouts (14-18 yrs) is also organised by the District.

A number of Scout Districts in a defined geographical area form a Scout County (designated Areas in Scotland and Wales) led by a volunteer County Commissioner (Area Commissioner in Scotland and Wales). Provision for members of the Scout Network (18-24 yrs) is also organised by the County/Area.

Further information

We hope you find this information valuable. If you require clarification or require advice on how to make a complaint, please contact the Scout Information Centre on 0845 300 1818 or by emailing:info.centre@scout.org.uk

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