The Inclusion Fund is a grant-giving fund to enable adults and young people in financial need to participate in Scouting activities for example attending a District, County, National or International scouting event, or to help subsidise membership subscriptions, equipment or uniform to ensure no one is excluded from Scouts due to their financial circumstances or for having additional needs.
The Inclusion Fund is drawn from the MWSD reserves built up from fundraising, donations and bequests and other sources of funding. Both adults and young people are eligible for this fund.
Mersey Weaver wish to promote adventurous, innovative, high-quality scouting events accessible to all. The Inclusion Fund endeavours to ensure that cost is not a barrier to young people and leaders in accessing these transformational experiences.
What can be funded?
The fund can be used to fund any individual from Mersey Weaver taking part in a scouting event or activity, to assist with the cost of membership subscriptions, uniform, equipment or clothing to enable participation in adventurous activities, nights away or international experiences. We will also help to fund specialist equipment or support required for a young person or volunteer with additional needs so they can take part in an activity or event.
For events we may fund up to 50% of the cost of the event, up to a maximum of £500, per individual.
The fund is not aimed at financing whole group block applications purely to reduce the cost of the overall trip or subscription, unless the entire group is in hardship, in which case it will be necessary to detail how each individual member meets the criteria.
Who can apply?
Any member of Mersey Weaver with a particular financial or additional need can apply; (financial need is defined as the difference between what it costs and what the applicant can afford to pay or reasonably be expected to fundraise). An application can be submitted by:
- Parents on behalf of a Squirrel, Beaver, Cub, Scout or Explorer.
- Leaders on behalf of a young person for example if a leader knows a family may be financially challenged but due to their personal values were unlikely to seek assistance themselves.
- Explorers or Network Members on behalf of themselves.
- Adult volunteers from Mersey Weaver on behalf of themselves when facilitating a camp, event or 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 and simultaneously expected to fund their own participation.
The fund will allow us to support individual members in financial need, something which can be a difficult subject to discuss with young people, parents, and leaders.
Evidence that can help make best judgement of ‘financial need’ would be if a family or individual 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
- Living in an area recognised as IMD 1 – 3
- 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.
* This is not a cap and is aimed to be indicative of who might be eligible for funding
**Free school meals are provided to all pupils in the lower years of primary schools in England and Wales, so the other indicators are more valid in these circumstances