Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: "Hardship Fund"

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    3
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    "Hardship Fund"

    Hi All
    As a newish leader( coming up to a year) I have been an avid reader of the forums. In that time they have been very useful in both providing me with ideas and also addressing issues and subjects that we all come across. So thanks one and all.
    Thought it about time I posted and got peoples thoughts on the above.

    We were talking last night about the possibility of providing financial help towards the cost of camps or trips for Scouts who would otherwise not be able to attend because of financial hardship. I wondered if other groups do this, how they administer it & what criteria you might set. Then how do you approach individuals without offending them? We would also not want it to be a handout for familiies who are a bit tight for cash at the moment but for genuinely hard up families.
    Your thoughts very much appreciated.

    Rich

  2. #2
    Account Closed
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Brede, East Sussex.
    Posts
    2,797
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Hi Rich & welcome,

    We say that parents/Scouts doing X-much fundraising for the group get Y-much discount on camp fees. The hard up ones do their bit in order to get the discount! That way, it is not a 'something for nothing' hand out. OK, it means that the better-off ones can do it too but if it pays for the camp/event, then why not?

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    26
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Dramatist

    that is such a good idea and so simple. Thankyou I am going to implememt this in my group when subs go up etc as we have a real diverse of parents and ability to pay.

  4. #4
    Account Closed
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Brede, East Sussex.
    Posts
    2,797
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Tik Tak View Post
    Dramatist

    that is such a good idea and so simple. Thankyou I am going to implememt this in my group when subs go up etc as we have a real diverse of parents and ability to pay.
    I should have said that X and y can be the same figure if you like (usually is in our Troop) and, if the Group can afford it, Y could even be higher than X (but we're not that rich!)

  5. #5
    Senior Member wolfie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    cambridgeshire
    Posts
    3,950
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
    We do allocate funds in a similar way to dramatist for our bigger, more expensive camps (so for example we're bag packing and car washing this year for family camp next year).

    We also have a discretionary fund which is used by 2-4 youngsters on average per camp, not always the same ones. What we say to parents is on our website but we alos do have a quiet word where we feel we can. We use it mostly for camps but are happy to use for subs, uniform etc too. I think as always it's not what you say but how you say it and people (so far) have been grateful we've raised it.

    Even those not on any benefits, child tax credit can find it difficult to find the "extra" for a camp so we are flexible about who can use it.

    Quite often it may end up a parent with several children pays for 1 and we pay for the other. Other times it may be they pay part and the fund pays part. Sometimes parents prefer to pay back (even though they don't need to) so we use the fund and their payments go pack into it over say the next 6-12 months, so it's there for the next person to use. It's also worked, where people have been reluctant, that we have asked them to come and help on the camp and in exchange we use the fund to cover the cost for their child.

    We find donations from businesses etc "easy" to get to help top the fund up, as they like the idea it's all about opportunties irrespective of parental ability to pay. We also have a uniform "stall" (well, ok - big box...) that parents donate used uniform etc too. We then sell it at really low prices and that goes into the Discretioary Fund too.

    In the past year it's meant 8-10 instances where youngsters have taken part in things they perhaps wouldn't have been able to
    Louise

    GSL 1st Fenstanton & Hilton Scout Group www.scubes.co.uk


    TA - Cromwell District (Cambridgeshire)

    Media Manager - Cubjam2016

    We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.
    -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    3,197
    Thanks
    101
    Thanked 79 Times in 36 Posts
    We are taking the Cubs and Scouts to PGL next April. We are also taking those Beavers who will be 8 by the time we go.

    The trip will cost £100 per head.

    In the current climate, some of the parents can't afford it, so we took the decision that EVERY child who takes part in the fundraising will get to go regardless of ability to pay.

    We did a bag packing session at Sainsbury's. I logged the time of arrival, and time of departure of each child. I then split the proceeds into man hours, then put onto a spreadsheet how much each child had earned. This then comes off their total for the trip.

    Tomorrow is a fun run where they have all got sponsorship. Again, whatever they raise will come off their total.

    When we do an activity such as car washing, or summer fete, we will split the profits between the kids who attended to help.

    With the amount of fundraising activities we have organised, there is no reason why every child cannot raise the full amount of money required for the trip without tapping into their parents.

    This means that we don't need a hardship fund, and none of the kids have to say "I can't afford it". If they commit to putting the effort in, they will reap the rewards. It also means that the lazy ones who "can't be bothered" and think "Scouts is boring" won't bother to fundraise and therefore won't reap the reward of coming on the trip.

    Many parents will throw money at their kids just to get rid of them for a weekend. I'd rather take those who can't afford to go, but deserve to, than be a babysitting service for the weekend to those who are a pain in the bum whose parents can't wait for a weekend of peace.

    The only downside to this is that it relies on the Leaders having the time to put into the fundraising.

    Having a hardship fund I would be wary of. How do you decide who can tap into it? If a parent is out of work and on benefits, but you know they can make it down the pub on a Friday and they smoke, should they be allowed to tap into it when another parent works and isn't on benefits, but has no money for the extras? I would just find it too tough to be fair to everybody. I think getting the kids to raise the funds they need for a trip teaches them the value of what they are experiencing as well as allowing all to take part.

  7. #7
    ESL - Young Leaders
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    1,456
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
    I agree its tricky to decide who is truly "worthy". As I think was said on another thread about this subject, sometimes things are not as they seem to outsiders.

    What sticks in my memory is what another Escouter agreed with a parent - the parent cleaned the hut and in return got subs paid (I think the parent had 3 children in the group). This is a good result in my eyes: the parent is still contributing to the Group and the Group is facilitating 3 YPs Scouting who may otherwise have missed out. No worries that the parent is genuinely hard up as she was prepared to put the effort in - just as were the YP in Testarossa's Group if they wanted to go on the PGL trip. And therein lies the rub. Genuine people will nearly always go out of their way to "give" something in return, even if its not money.

    I think it helps if parents know what to do if they are finding it difficult with subs or fees. Our subs letter merely says to contact our Treasurer if they would like to discuss alternative arrangements. Something on the website like Louise's is a good idea. All requests for special arrangements are now discretely handled by our Committee (for the sake of consistency) on a case by case basis with the agreement of the section leader.

    You may recall I had a lot of problems with a habitual long standing non-payer
    a few months ago. We gave her the option of doing some gardening, clearing up etc to work off the debt but surprise, surprise that was not taken up and
    a lump sum materialised from no where! Does make you wonder.......
    Ruth

    Lovin' my gadgets!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Doug in Canada's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Burlington, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,772
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 11 Times in 9 Posts
    Agree it is a difficult situation to tackle. Have often thought of setting up a system such as Testarossa's so that those that do fundraising get the benefits from it but have never got that organized! I think you have to use your judgement and have quiet words with the families that you suspect may not be attending due to cost issues but it is tricky. Also often difficult to tell if you are being led down the garden path. Last year I had a couple with two little ones who wanted to join Beavers. They had just emigrated from Ecuador and neither parent was employed. They offered to pay half their subs in installments and in this case it was fairly obvious that the family was truely needing to get on their feet. On the other hand I had a family ask for support about 15 years ago so the group paid for 2/3 of their registration costs. Come to find out that at Christmas they all piled on a plane to spend vacation in the UK! - wish I could have afforded to do that back then! Short of it is there is no perfect solution and you need to be very observant and very tactful when braoching the subject. Good luck.
    Akela - 6th Burlington Cub Pack

    www.6thburlingtoncubs.org

  9. #9
    Senior Member CilDroichid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    606
    Thanks
    7
    Thanked 5 Times in 3 Posts
    In our case, all fund raising goes into one 'pot' and each year we have a budget meeting to decide what will be supported. A chunk of money might be allocated (for example) to Annual Camp and leaders can then work out what will have to be paid by the scouts themselves.

    We have an open policy that no scout should be prevented from taking part in an activity for financial reasons; all a parent has to do is ask. In my experience (in this neck of the woods at any event), only those who really are in need will ask - certainly I've never had anyone take advantage (yet!).

    If parents approach me, my usual tack is to ask the parent what would suit them best - sometimes it's to pay in installments, sometimes they might be short of gear (we have a small stock we can lend out), sometimes it's uniform (again we have a free 'recycling scheme'), sometimes it's just that they are stuck this month for (say) a weekend camp and in that case we can often just let the camp fee slide.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    13
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Just came across this thread going through EScouts tonight.

    We had the same problem for a time and we knew who to target etc. However this year we have introduced an activity fund scheme which works extremely well.

    This works on a man hours basis as suggested before for example if we do a bag pack pack then 25% of funds go back to running costs so there is a float for a rainy day so to speak.

    The number of hours worked is then totalled up and the total less the 25% is then divided by the total number of hours to work out an hourly rate. If the scout only did one hour they in effect get one hours pay. This means that if someone is struggling with fees then there is a way to pay for camps etc and nobody is getting anything for nothing. This year alone we have had several scouts earn over £400 for their activity fund which is then used for activities as they so wish, ie each scout has there own mini bank account and can save or spend the money on activities as they so wish.

    hope this helps

    Andrew

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Herts, UK
    Posts
    691
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 124 Times in 94 Posts
    We haven't had to invoke this for some years, but have always had an understanding that we would not want cost to prevent participation.

    As a well-funded group, we do don't do that much fund-raising. I'm not always sure that's a good thing; I was brought up as a Scout in the Job Week days when it was a matter of pride that we earned everything that didn't come from subs, and the Scouts didn't look for outside funding. The world has changed since then.

    We cover most things just from subs (partly because the church provides the hall for an annual donation). Fund-raising provides for special purchases such as tents, and helps us to set a bit aside in case we send someone to a Jamboree or whatever. Therefore, if someone couldn't afford camp, we'd find the money from funds. Probably only the treasurer and SL would know who was affected, but we'd feel obliged to tell the Executive that we were helping someone.
    SL, 11th Hitchin

  12. #12
    IanJames ianjames's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Welwyn Garden City
    Posts
    1,344
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    When we do fundraising it all goes in the general fundraising pot which is then used to subsidise or pay for trips and activities for the whole group, This year family camp for members, Beavers, Cubs and Scouts were paid for as is everyones trip to Gullivers world for the Jamboree weekend. If a parent has an issue with paying this is treated on an individual basis and knowledge of it is on a need to know basis.
    Ian Turner
    Cub Leader, TA & ADC Cubs
    2nd & 7th Welwyn Garden City Scout Group


    http://www.wgcscouts.co.uk

  13. #13
    Senior Moments Penny E's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Chesham, Bucks
    Posts
    2,406
    Thanks
    72
    Thanked 152 Times in 74 Posts
    Lots of good ideas so far.

    I've also seen this discussion come and go for a few moons now - as others on this thread have mentioned.

    As a Group we are luckily not strapped for cash, so we simply operate a system whereby any parent who is in difficulty can approach me in confidence. As a village group I tend to know who is struggling financially anyway, and I often speak to the parents before they approach me. All discussions are in total confidence, and the only other person who knows the final agreement (not the reasons) is our Treasurer.

    However, all my experience - and that of many others who have posted here about it before - is that the person who walks up to you boldly and asks for a discount, probably without offering anything in return, is probably the least deserving of all.

    The people you have to look out for are those who are too embarrassed to ask, and then simply don't sign their child up for additional activities because of the cost. Look for any discrepancy between the child's enthusiasm and their actual attendance.
    Akela, 1st Tylers Hill

    Yes, those are my legs - and my hiking boots too!

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Belfast
    Posts
    61
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Thanks to everyone for this thread - certainly food for me.
    Michael Carchrie Campbell
    Chairman, FLAGS http://www.flagscouts.org.uk/
    Member, NSCF - National Catholic Scout Fellowship - http://www.catholicsinscouting.org.uk/

Similar Threads

  1. [Wanted] Copy of "The Black Report" & "Advance Party Report"
    By BOBOMAN in forum Items For Sale or Wanted (Scouting Related Only)
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 31-08-2013, 08:20 AM
  2. Do you know of any "Celebrity" or "Famous" Scouters
    By Walsallwizard in forum The Lounge
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 08-09-2012, 07:35 AM
  3. Do You run a "Support Fund"
    By kjburdon in forum Scouting Talk
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 16-06-2011, 08:34 AM
  4. hardship fund
    By scousescouter in forum Scouting Talk
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 01-05-2011, 03:14 PM
  5. "hardship funding"
    By GED in forum Scouting Talk
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 03-04-2011, 12:42 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •