The uplifting side of the current health crisis is that so many people want to help, including young people. Helping others has been a part of Scouts’ DNA for over 100 years and even in the toughest of times, young people from across the UK have lived out their promise to ‘help other people’.
Right now, that Scouts spirit is as resilient as ever, with the half a million young strong movement launching a new campaign – co-created with young people and in collaboration with the National Care Association and the British Red Cross – called ‘Care for Care Homes’. Care for Care Homes aims to ‘reduce the loneliness and improve the wellbeing of people in care homes by asking members to carry out 10,000 acts of kindness’.
Scouts is a youth led organisation, always putting its young people at the heart of decision making, and has been regularly asking young people what action they would like to take to help others over the coming weeks.
Sam, one of the young people leading the campaign, said: ‘We’ve seen that care homes have been hit incredibly hard by the global pandemic, from residents falling ill to being separated from their loved ones. As Scouts, we usually help care homes throughout the year and the current crisis shouldn’t stop that from happening.’
Over the next few weeks, Scouts will collectively carry out 10,000 acts of kindness to help residents in their local care home, becoming kindness champions and showing that they ‘care for care homes’. To help care home residents feel less lonely and more connected, they’ll be taking part in four different types of activity:
- Creating ‘kindness rocks’ with supportive messages
- Writing letters and drawing pictures
- Sending video messages
- Swapping skills via letters, photos or videos
Nadra Ahmed, Chair of the National Care Association, commented: ‘I was delighted to have been approached by Scouts, asking how they might be able to support the vulnerable people in our services. It is at times like these that little acts of kindness can make a huge difference to the generation who have served their country, thus enabling our youth to live a life based on freedom. Intergenerational support brings mutual advantages and we hope this is the start of a long-standing alliance.’
Scouts is all about building skills for life in young people between the ages of 6 and 25, and empowering them to make a positive impact on the world around them, James Thorp, aged 6, said ‘Lockdown has been really hard and lots of fun things have been cancelled. I wanted to help make people smile again. Pictures and letters have been cheering up my Nanny and Grandad while I can’t see them to give them a hug. I wanted to start doing the same for other people.’
Mairi Allan, Head of Youth at British Red Cross, said: ‘We want to say thank you to every single Scout who is helping to show the power of kindness during this difficult time. Because whilst this virus may keep us apart, kindness will keep us together. Care for Care Homes is a great initiative, and it’s brilliant that our partnership has meant Scouts from across the UK have become kindness champions and will help care home residents feel less lonely and more connected. For 150 years, the British Red Cross has helped the nation through its darkest days and coronavirus is no exception. By becoming kindness champions and sharing their letters, videos and skills with older people virtually, Scouts are definitely doing their part to support the most vulnerable during this crisis. Thank you.’
You can find out more about Care for Care Homes by going to: scouts.org.uk/careforcarehomes