Purpose of the Cheshire Scouts International Fund
The International Fund is a grant-giving fund established to enable young people and adults in Cheshire to have the opportunity to experience and participate in international Scout events and aspects of the programme. The fund is a mix of designated and restricted funds drawn from our reserves built up from previous international experiences, fundraising, donations, bequests and other sources of funding.
Scouting is an inclusive and accessible movement helping young people develop into responsible citizens who respect each other; as well as their local and global communities. We are an international movement, and we want to give our members opportunities to recognise and experience the diversity and differences of other cultures, meet other Scouts from elsewhere in the world, understand how they live, what they believe, promote peace, tolerance and understanding and see the effects of climate change first hand.
All the Top Awards in Scouting require young people to experience or incorporate some understanding and exploration of global issues. Taking part in an international experience is a great way of enabling this learning. It is through these experiences that we can extend the horizons of our members beyond the village, town or city in which they live and help them to develop positive attitudes to their community and environment. We can also inspire them to expand their own personal ambitions and develop competencies that will make them well rounded, empathetic people who are more employable in the future.
It is therefore strategically important for the Trustees of Cheshire Scouts to promote high-quality international Scout experiences that are accessible to all young people regardless of their personal circumstances or background. The Cheshire Scouts Board of Trustees recognises that the expense of organising international experiences both in the UK and abroad can sometimes be (or perceived to be) a barrier and through the International Fund, we endeavour to ensure that cost or other potential limiting factors are not barriers to young people and adults in accessing these transformational experiences.
What can be funded?
- Participation in a National, International or World Scout Jamboree/Moot/Roverway.
- Participation in a Visit Abroad with a Group, Unit, District or County Contingent.
- Participation in an International Award such as the Explorer Belt or Scouts of the World Award.
- Specialist equipment or support required for a participant with additional needs that will enable their participation in an international experience.
- Opportunities to enable Home or Hosted Hospitality to take place in Cheshire.
- Participation in joint activities with International Scouts visiting the UK.
- Other experiences that enable young people in Cheshire to connect with Scouts from abroad or achieve international aspects of the programme, badge or award.
How can funds be used?
- To temporarily cover upfront costs such as a participation fee, travel or accommodation and enable fundraising to take place (effectively an interest free loan). In the case of the Scouts of the World Award, this could be start-up costs or seed funding to enable the project to become fully sustainable.
- To subsidise participation costs for young people/adult volunteers from areas IMD 1-3 or who are in financial need.
- To fund specialist group equipment that enables young people to participate in international experiences.
- To cover any additional costs incurred by young people or adults who have additional needs so they can participate on an equal footing to those who don’t have any additional needs.
Who can apply?
Any member of Cheshire Scouts with a particular financial or additional need can apply; (financial need is defined as the difference between what it costs to attend and what the applicant can afford to pay or reasonably be expected to fundraise). Priority will be given to individuals who fulfil one or more of the criteria below, but these criteria are not restrictive and all applications will be considered:
- Total household income level below £32,000*
- Young person or adult in Part Time work
- 18 – 25-year-olds in full-time education
- Young carer (recognised by relevant authorities)
- Looked after child (in care)
- Free school meals** or pupil premium funding
- Income Support / Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance / Income-related employment and support allowance / Universal Credit / Working tax credit
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- Child Tax Credit (provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit) and annual income does not exceed £16,190 as assessed by HMRC
- Housing Benefit
- Disability Living Allowance (related to the young person or parent)
- Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
- Physical/mental health issues (applicants own)
- Recent redundancy (of applicant or next of kin, within 12 months)
- Young person in need of additional support in the form of a carer whilst abroad.
* This Is not a cap and is aimed to be indicative of level of funding
**Free school meals are provided to all pupils in the lower years of primary schools in England, so the other indicators are more valid in these circumstances.
There are two ways in which funding can be sought:
As an Individual
- Parents on behalf of a Squirrel, Beaver, Cub, Scout or Explorer.
- Leaders on behalf of a young person for example if a leader knew a family may be financially challenged but due to their personal values were unlikely too seek assistance themselves.
- Network Members.
- Adult volunteers from Cheshire facilitating an international experience for a young person(s) in the capacity of a Leader, Member of the International Service Team, Contingent Management Support Team or as One to One Support for a young person with additional needs.
As a Group/District
- Where a Group or District are organising their very first international experience, they may apply for seed funding or a grant to help get the project off the ground.
- Where a Group or District is participating in joint activities with international Scouts or providing Home or Hosted hospitality.
- Where a Group or District is fundraising as a collective rather than individually.
What is the application process?
Requests for funding can made via the form below. Applications should be submitted at the earliest opportunity. Applications will be considered by our grants sub-committee who meet on quarterly basis. The dates in which the sub-committee meet can be found on the Cheshire Scouts website. It is expected that applications are submitted at least two weeks prior to the scheduled meeting date so there is time for the panel to read through them. Any applications submitted after the planned meeting date will not be considered until the following date. Grants cannot be made retrospectively.
Applications will be considered, and a decision made at the Sub Committee meeting. Applicants will be notified usually by email, as soon as possible following the meeting but usually within two weeks.
The Application Process
- Submission – Complete an application form with approval from your GSL/DESC/DSNC & DC for Section, Group or Unit events and ACC (I) or CC for County events by the relevant date (see above).
- Optional Video Call – If applicable, parents/guardians or the individual themselves (where the applicant is over 18) may be invited to an optional video or phone call to give more information about any circumstances surrounding their application in confidence. Where a Group/District has applied for funding on behalf of a young person or group of young people they may be invited instead. This call is not compulsory and totally confidential. However, this really helps us to understand the challenges young people and adults are facing – enabling us to support each applicant in the best way possible not just financially.
- Decision Making – An anonymised copy of the application will be presented to the Grants Sub-Committee, along with any notes from the video call. Each application will then be assessed following the process defined by the Chair of the committee and in line with the sub-committee’s terms of reference. The sub-committee will make a decision whether to Award, Decline or Defer an application. If the award is successful, they will determine an appropriate level of funding based on the financial need and type of application.
- Questions – Any questions from applicants about the process, applications or decisions are directed at the nominated member of the sub-committee.
- Payment – If the application is successful, we will inform you via email. We are unable to make payments to personal bank accounts and therefore will only credit the funds in a nominated account relevant to the level which the event is being organised e.g. a Group, District, Scout Association or NSO bank account.
Should an experience make a surplus, a donation back to the International Fund would be appreciated to help other members in the future.