Our Kindness Champions: one year on
Since our 'A Million Hands' campaign launched, 12,000 Scouts have signed up as Kindness Champions. Here’s what they’ve been doing since
By Mike Baxter, youth engagement project manager
A Kindness Champion is someone who ‘shows kindness, gives kindness and shares kindness’. Our ‘A Million Hands’ project with the Scouts aims to sign up 20,000 champions over the three-year project, helping to demonstrate our theme, ‘Kindness in every Community’. We are working with five other charity partners on this amazing project.
We have attended a range of events from fundays for the Beavers and Cubs, Gilwell 24 for the Explorer Scouts, and Reunion for the adults – all with the aim of promoting our project and encouraging the Scouts to do a social action project on Kindness as part of their Community Impact badge.
Our topics include loneliness, First Aid and the Bystander Effect, preparing for emergencies and planning their own Kindness project in their community.
Many groups have already done some of our ‘Identify the need’ activities, for example writing a message on a ‘Kindness banana’ or painting a ‘Kindness rock’ [left].
Paisley Scouts even used their summer camp as an opportunity to send a #PostcardofKindness to their local care home.
Then, Covid-19 happened and face-to-face Scouting stopped - but this couldn’t stop the Scouts doing kind acts. The Community Impact Group, consisting of young people who co-deliver this project, recognised that care homes had been hit incredibly hard by the pandemic, with residents falling ill and others being separated from their loved ones. This led to the development of an amazing project: #CareforCareHomes.
Scouts completed an incredible 10,500 acts of kindness helping residents in their local care home, becoming Kindness Champions and showing that they ‘care for care homes’. From crafts to letters, videos to swapping skills, Scouts helped care home residents feel less lonely and more connected during the health crisis.
We have been delivering ‘Company and Kindness’ sessions via Zoom to Scout Groups to help them learn about loneliness and develop their project - with over 30 groups and 400 young people taking part in online sessions. And, we are training more Scout Speakers to be able to support our delivery of sessions and help us attend more Scouting events in the future.
Years of kindness to come
The exciting news is that our partnership has been extended until the summer of 2023 to help make up for the time lost during the pandemic. We hope to relaunch our project in the Spring of 2021.
We were originally chosen by the young people from the Community Impact Group who chose the six charities and themes that most resonated with them.
"One year on from the launch of A Million Hands and the partnership between the Scouts and the British Red Cross is helping young people across the country carry out acts of kindness in their communities," said Ellie Broome, from Community Impact Group. "Being kind to each other has been fundamental through the pandemic and I like to think that the partnership has led to many wonderful acts of kindness."
Matt Hyde, the Scout chief executive, is very supportive of the project and has already tweeted the ‘Kindness Banana’ given to him by the Community Impact Group.
"Being kind is part of the DNA of every Scout and since our inception, we have helped to leave the world better than we found it," said Matt. "Working with the British Red Cross through our A Million Hands partnership has helped Scouts across the country show kindness in their communities in the 21st century, and we look forward to continuing this work with them through to 2023."
We are looking forward to helping Scouts create their own Kindness Projects over the next three years and signing up many more Kindness Champions. To find out more about the project, please do look at our website, the Scouts Website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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