Like many other businesses and organisations, we have seen a huge impact both on our cash flow and the way we have been operating due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. In total we are estimating that we would be down on our estimated income for 2020 by approximately £12,000 (loss of fundraising opportunities and some loss in subscription charges) excluding grant applications, and any additional running costs incurred due to socially distanced activities as we plan for our return.
As we cannot return to our traditional fundraising opportunities for some time; we are launching our first Crowdfunder campaign to help address some of the loss explained above along with the hopes of maintaining a healthy cash flow, and ideally still allow us to progress existing projects that we had in the pipeline for 2020.
We will be announcing a number of rewards throughout an 8 week Crowdfunder campaign. If you are able to support us we would be extremely grateful, either by making a pledge for one of our many rewards or by making a one-off donation to our Group through Crowdfunder.
We are very thankful for all donations, whatever the amount, and please also don't forget to share our campaign with others that might be interested in supporting us.
Please note - As a UK Charity there are no fees for us using Crowdfunder and we can still claim gift aid on all donations (provided you tick the right box when making any pledges). This means using Crowdfunder provides us with a risk-free platform that will help us MASSIVELY through any donations received as we get to keep 100% of all money raised.
3rd Portchester Scouts formed in 1947, we are one of the largest Scout Group's in Hampshire and are one of 105 Royal Navy Recognised Sea Scout Groups in the UK. This is in recognition for the outstanding programme on offer at 3rd Portchester Scouts and the opportunities that we offer to young people aged 6-18; not forgetting also our adult volunteers ( who,without them, none of this would be possible).
We are also a British Canoeing Affiliated Club and British Rowing Club enabling us to access various opportunities and through our own Instructors/Coaches, who hold National Governing Body qualifications, are able to offer courses and qualifications from both of these organisations. In addition to this, we work closely with Portchester Sailing Club who are a RYA Training Centre, allowing us access to relevant courses and qualifications.
As part of the world's largest youth movement we are very proud to be currently supporting just under 150 young people at 3rd Portchester Scouts across 8 different sections:
- 2x Beaver Colonies (6-8 year olds)
- 2x Cub Packs (8-10.5 year olds)
- 3x Scout Troops (10.5-14 year olds)
- 1x Explorer Unit (14-18 year olds)
The aim of the Scout Association is to promote the development of young people in achieving their full physical, intellectual, social and spiritual potential, as individuals, as responsible citizens and as members of their local, national and international communities.
In March 2020 we saw one of the most unique periods in the entire Group's history when all face to face Scouting activities were suspended for the first time since we were formed. This has most definitely caused us some major challenges that we are trying so hard to overcome and, hopefully with your help, we can come through the other side stronger than ever before.
We actively look for projects where we can get involved each year and support our local community where possible. This year we were looking to support Fort Nelson as part of a Million Hands project which has had to be postponed due to Covid-19.
Our young people very quickly gave their support for the Care for Care Homes project when it was launched in May 2020. This has seen the young people in our Group creating various acts of kindness that we are regularly dropping off to 2 local care/nursing homes.
While 2020 is a very exceptional year we normal are a huge local part for things such as the Portchester Gala and the local Remembrance Parade events held annually in our village, along with supporting many other local events through tent hire, etc.
When we first went in to lock down on Tuesday 17th March 2020, stopping all face to face Scouting, our team of adult leaders were all very quick to look at new ways that we can still continue to offer Scouting opportunities to meet our charitable aim.
All of our sections have been offering virtual Scouting which the young people can participate in from the safety of their own homes. Over the last 4 months this has seen the young people have access to the following:
- Weekly meetings via Zoom; enabling social interaction
- Virtual camping opportunities at home
- Various tasks/challenges set that they can do when it suits them
- A large support network for families to share ideas
With the ability to return to a limited offering of face to face activities from Monday 6th July 2020, we have been very quick to look at a number of activities that we can do while maintaining social distancing throughout.
The Scout Association is following guidance from the National Youth Agency. This will consist of 4 stages; Red, Amber, Yellow & Green. Again, at the time of writing, (end of July 2020), we are currently in a Amber stage allowing virtual Scouting to take place and limited outdoor activities provided social distancing is maintained.
This is having an increased cost to run activities, while also having a reduction in the numbers of young people that we can offer face to face Scouting opportunities to in any given session.
We are yet to understand the exact financial impact of each stage so we cannot give exact figures on what the financial strain on our Group will be, but we are keen to carry on supporting everyone who is part of our Group and our community with your help. We will be looking to see what opportunities we can make available at each readiness level, and will do our best to make new opportunities available ideally without the additional cost of cleaning, etc. being a financial barrier for us to make these activities happen.
Remarkably through the fantastic effort of our leaders (adult volunteers and young leaders) we have only lost about 5% of our members, and as a Group we are supporting those families that can not currently afford our subscription charge for various personal reasons.
This is still however estimated to be about £4,500 (for the period of March to September)
A large part of our typical annual income is made from various fundraising events that take place each year of which, unfortunately, we don't see being able to take place this year (many already have been cancelled):
- Portchester Gala
- Raffle (run alongside the Gala)
- Equipment hire (hiring out tents to organisations for the Gala, other events, etc.)
- Taster sessions
- Bag packing
- Great South Run
- Pottery Painting
- Other fundraising events, such as meals, quiz nights, etc.
Estimated to be about £7,500 we will have missed out on due to not being able to run these events.
Typically we also work with a number of different charities who support us through grant applications, but most of the traditional funds that we would apply to are all on hold at present.
Our estimated loss of income for 2020 is to be about £12,000 (loss of fundraising opportunities and some subscription charges) excluding grant applications, and any additional running costs incurred due to socially distanced activities as we plan for our return.
Prior to Covid-19 we had the following projects that we were actively working on to help improve the opportunities available at 3rd Portchester Scouts and in our community:
- Placing a public access AED (Automated External Defibrillator) on the outside of our building
- Installation of noise absorbing panels at our HQ to help allow capacity expansion
- Purchase of a new second outboard engine and covers for our 2 Drascombe Luggers
- Reviewing our kayak fleet, with the expectation of getting some new kayaks suitable for expeditions and allowing us to accommodate the smaller paddlers
At the start of 2020 we were successful and very thankful to the following 3 organisations who supported us in being able to progress a review of our 12' Dinghy Fleet Review.
- Sports England - Small Grants
- The Scout Association - RN Admiralty Fund
- The Rowing Foundation
This has enabled us in early 2020 to purchase 6 new 12' Fusion Dinghies. These 6 new crafts will be essential water activities during Amber in particular for pulling as they allow us to provide young people access to water activities - while still maintaining social distance and safety of all those involved.
Other successes include:
- Virtual Scouting through the use of Zoom, OSM (Online Scout Manager) and other tools
- A very high retention rate through this crisis
- Having the pleasure of, during the first half of 2020, awarding the following badges:
- 2 Platinum Awards
- 3 Chief Scout's Gold Awards
- 10 Chief Scout's Silver Awards
- 4 Chief Scout’s Bronze Awards
- 82 Challenge Awards (various)
- 293 Activity Badges
- 270 Staged Activity Badges
- Moving to virtual Exec and Leaders meetings
Our Crowdfunder campaign will last for 8 weeks and we will be aiming to release lots of different rewards throughout this period. We are hopeful to include things such as the following:
- Event tickets for things such as a virtual quiz, bingo, etc.
- Water activity sessions
- Sponsored Run
- Wall of thanks
As a UK Charity there are no fees for us using Crowdfunder and we can still claim gift aid on all donations provided you tick the right box when making any pledges (if unsure please do ask).
When we reach 25% of our target we can look at applying for 1 or more Extra Funding opportunities on Crowdfunder to help meet our target. If successful, these funds are then available to us (provided we achieve at least 50% of our original target amount without the Extra Funding opportunities).
As a large Scout Group we often have multiple things wishing to be funded at the same time. Our focus very much at present and for the future is about giving all the young people amazing opportunities; enabling them to achieve their best and gain Skills for Life even during this unprecedented period.
This funding will be used to help ensure that we can continue to offer the best possible Scouting through all 4 readiness states, while ideally allowing us opportunities to still progress as many of our existing projects as possible during this unprecedented time.
Thank you so much for your support from everyone at 3rd Portchester Scouts.