Kezia Dugdale MSP has risen to the challenge and completed her Scouts Scotland Youth Advocacy Award.

In the same way that Scouts earn their badges, Kezia earned her badge by completing a number of actions to help MSPs experience the skills for life that Scouts has to offer.
Kezia earned her badge by taking the Meadows Explorers on a tour of the Parliament where they taught her how to tie a sling using a Scout Neckie. She also visited Bonaly earlier in the year and got to take part in high ropes activities.

Kezia Dugdale MSP said:
“I’m delighted to have achieved my Scouts Scotland Youth Advocacy Award. I’ve been able to see first-hand the difference that Scouting makes across the Lothians. It’s been wonderful to see young people develop skills for life and making lifelong friendships. I’ll be proud to wear my badge!”

Tudor Westwood, Chair of the National Youth Advisory Group for Scouts Scotland said:
“The exciting thing is that this badge encourages politicians to see and engage with, first-hand, the extraordinary work Scouts Scotland does every single day in Scotland.
Each week, we give almost 40,000 young people in Scotland the opportunity to enjoy fun and adventure while developing the skills they need to succeed and I believe this advocacy award helps to inspire more of our young people to engage with democracy and work towards social change.”

The award is designed to give politicians a greater insight into the work that Scouts Scotland is undertaking week in week out in Scotland. The requirements for the badge were chosen by young people in The Scouts.

Scouts Scotland believe in preparing young people with skills for life by encouraging young people to do more, learn more and be more. If you’d like to be involved in the Scouts visit the website www.scouts.scot.

Ends

For further information about Scouts Scotland or the Youth Advocacy Award please contact Scouts Scotland’s Media and Public Affairs Officer Janis McCulloch on 01383 419073 or 07498 997 586 or email janis@scouts.scot

Notes

About the Youth Advocacy Award
• In order to earn their badge MSPs must complete 4 out of 7 requirements: visit a local Scout group, raise issues relating to young people in the Parliament or in the Media, take a Scout group on a tour of the Scottish Parliament, engage with a Scouts Scotland Youth Advisory Group, attend a Scouts Scotland event and take part in activities, learn a skill or visit a Scouts National Activity Centre.

• This award was designed in partnership with young people who sit on the Scouts Scotland National Youth Advisory Group.

• Scouts Scotland have a National Youth Advisory Group (NYAG) and are in the process of setting up local youth advisory groups across Scotland. These groups are vital in ensuring that Scouting is led by young people in partnership with adults. We want to create a modern Scouting movement that young people want.

• The award can be earned over the five year term of the Scottish Parliament, and any of the requirements earned before the award was launched all count towards achieving the badge.

• On completion of the award MSPs will be presented with a pin badge and a certificate.

About Scouting in Scotland
• Each week, Scouts Scotland give almost 40,000 young people in Scotland the opportunity to enjoy fun and adventure while developing the skills they need to succeed. We are talking about teamwork, leadership and resilience – skills that have helped Scouts become everything from teachers and social workers to astronauts and Olympians.

• Scouts Scotland released its most recent membership census figures in May 2018. There are now 51,371 members in Scotland. Scouting in Scotland has enjoyed 12 Years of sustained youth membership growth.

• Adults volunteering in Scouting contribute in excess of 364 million hours of voluntary work each year to their local communities across the United Kingdom.
• Scouts are aged 6-25; we welcome adult volunteers of all ages.

• At present there are more than 4,100 young people on waiting lists in Scotland. Becoming an adult volunteer is fun, rewarding and good for your CV. Adult volunteers receive full training, support and many opportunities for adventure as well.

• Scouting is the largest co-educational youth movement in Scotland.

• Scouting is open to everyone regardless of faith, gender, sexuality, race, or ability.

• 1 person began Scouting on 1st August 1907 (Robert Baden Powell); today nearly 550,000 Scouts (young people and volunteers) now take part in the UK and 40 million around the world.

• What have Bear Grylls, David Beckham, Tim Peake, Paul McCartney, The Duchess of Cambridge, Richard Branson and Jamie Oliver all got in common? They were (or are) all Scouts.

• We offer over 200 activities from abseiling and coding to drama and archery. All made possible by the efforts of 8,222 volunteer leaders in Scotland.

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