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Thread: Hardship case?

  1. #1
    Keith at 2M Keith at 2M's Avatar
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    Hardship case?

    We have a family of four in our group that regularly plead hardship. We always cover our hardship cases and are happy to - its what scouting is about in my opinion. The richer parents know and accept that they are paying slightly over the odds so that everyone can go on everything.

    This week however my blood is boiling. I'd booked tickets for two of them for the County gangshow - an optional activity so they'd chosen to accept free tickets from the Group. I was told last night that they won't now be coming as their dad has tickets for tomorrow's Fulham game for all of them.

    Of course forcing your children to watch Fulham is one of the worse forms of child abuse but has anyone any idea how I should treat the issue of the subsidised tickets (and any future subsidies)?
    The Roman Empire did not become great by holding meetings. It did so by killing everyone that opposed their point of view.

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    Senior Member wolfie's Avatar
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    So... they can't afford to pay for tickets to a Scouting event but can afford to get them all tickets for a Fulham match?????

    Hmmm.... If it was the parents who paid for the Fulham tickets (and not some kindly rich uncle)I'd ask them to cover the cost of the tickets you'd booked.
    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.
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    Senior Member Heron's Avatar
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    I would be slightly fuming too... however without looking at the long term are there 2 other scouts /young people within the group (maybe even cubs or explorers) who would enjoy going along, who have made an effort this year and deserve a treat - you could contact them and say you have these 2 spare tickets and would they like to join you. Would make their day and ensure the tickets weren't wasted.

    Personally I would change the requirements for the hardship family, I believe you should offer them the opportunity to go at a reduced price, but not for free... they should make part payment and then have an interested in the fact their child attends - this could be a one off, this might be an amazing opportunity for their own kids, this might be paid for by someone else etc....
    Heron
    Parent - ex Beaver Leader, District Beaver Leader, TA and ESL

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    Moderator David's Avatar
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    I can see why you are mad, but there are always two sides to a story.

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    Keith at 2M Keith at 2M's Avatar
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    I see from the Fulham website that as its only Wigan Athletic a family of five will cost around £50 including a programme - while the gang show tickets cost the group £14.
    Its the principle really behind the accepting handouts until a better offer comes along, if you have no financial interest then you haven't personally lost anything, plus its a bit of a slap in the face for our genuine hardship cases.
    I'd love to offer the tickets to a deserving cause but its so last minute - less than 36 hours to shift them, but I'm trying...in the meanwhile I shall console myself with muttering the Fulham Fanzine title '....one F in Fulham'
    The Roman Empire did not become great by holding meetings. It did so by killing everyone that opposed their point of view.

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    Senior Member Taeniura's Avatar
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    I too would be fuming, I do hope you can give the tickets to someone who deserves them.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt

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    Account Closed Raksha's Avatar
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    If there is no one in the Group who can take them, why not see if a couple of local OAP's would like to come with you?

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    ESL - Young Leaders
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith at 2M View Post
    We have a family of four in our group that regularly plead hardship. We always cover our hardship cases and are happy to - its what scouting is about in my opinion. The richer parents know and accept that they are paying slightly over the odds so that everyone can go on everything.

    This week however my blood is boiling. I'd booked tickets for two of them for the County gangshow - an optional activity so they'd chosen to accept free tickets from the Group. I was told last night that they won't now be coming as their dad has tickets for tomorrow's Fulham game for all of them.

    Of course forcing your children to watch Fulham is one of the worse forms of child abuse but has anyone any idea how I should treat the issue of the subsidised tickets (and any future subsidies)?
    A very tricky and annoying situation Keith. Question - have you been fairly confident on previous occasions that there has been genuine hardship and has there been circumstance to back it up ie unemployment in the family etc.

    Like you I have been very badly let down by a parent pleading hardship, citing down turn in the building trade and work for hubby (which all seemed pretty plausible). I agreed to accept smaller sums on a regular basis rather than lump sum (for camp fees, subs, investiture fee etc). Stupid me didn't get anything in motion or timetable agreed cause I trusted this person to make the staggered payments. I found out recently via reliable sources that 2 of the kids have new quad bikes and the family are having a luxury kitchen fitted I feel very let down indeed and am wondering what the hell is the world coming to! The other families in our Group (mine included) are not super rich, just honest people doing their best to get by in difficult times. Why should they subsidise this family who appear to be abusing the Group's goodwill?

    Luckily for me we've just got a new Treasurer who will be handling all the “special arrangements” for payment of subs etc in the future. The question is how far does the Group let this go and not affect the Scout's scouting when the family blatantly ignore requests for payment of subs which in affects leaves our Group subsidising this YP when we pay his capitation?
    Ruth

    Lovin' my gadgets!

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    I had one (now left) who pleaded poverty - hand-me-down uniform provided, subs paid weekly and camps subsidised. One week, where's X? ..... Daddy's taken him to a Test Match - IN BRISBANE!

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    IanJames ianjames's Avatar
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    Its always a tough call, the original thread could just be someone else has paid.

    Going forward we have only ever had one deserving cause, we waived the sums for a term and that was done after we approached the parent. As soon as he was sorted finance wise the subs were paid albeit over a number of weeks.

    The issue regards canceling at the last minute caused us to change how we organised trips paid for by the group, we opted to charge a nominal £5.00 for trips which as long as the YP attends is returned as pocket money for the day. This seems to have stopped the time wasterd.
    Ian Turner
    Cub Leader, TA & ADC Cubs
    2nd & 7th Welwyn Garden City Scout Group


    http://www.wgcscouts.co.uk

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    Senior Member Doug in Canada's Avatar
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    Jonathan, we had a similar incident about 10 years ago. Family pleaded poverty so the group picked up all costs etc. Comes early December they inform me that Johnny will not be at our Christmas party, seems the entire family was taking a trip to the UK for three weeks at Christmas! I don't care if they were staying with family, if they can afford a three week vacation in the UK they can afford to pay our fees!!

    In contrast, this year I have two youth who have asked for financial relief - one a young couple who have just moved here from Columbia with two young boys and no jobs! They are paying what they can every month and I know that they are trying to get on their financial feet. The other lives in subsidized housing and was actually not going to join because his "mom couldn't afford it" until I approached them with alternatives. Both of these it is difficult to convince them to let their children take part in all of the events beacause they feel guilty they can't pay the full amount!
    Akela - 6th Burlington Cub Pack

    www.6thburlingtoncubs.org

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    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug in Canada View Post
    In contrast, this year I have two youth who have asked for financial relief - one a young couple who have just moved here from Columbia with two young boys and no jobs! They are paying what they can every month and I know that they are trying to get on their financial feet. The other lives in subsidized housing and was actually not going to join because his "mom couldn't afford it" until I approached them with alternatives. Both of these it is difficult to convince them to let their children take part in all of the events beacause they feel guilty they can't pay the full amount!
    bingo!

    and i prefer to make sure they join in at the risk of being let down...

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    ESL - Young Leaders
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug in Canada View Post
    Jonathan, we had a similar incident about 10 years ago. Family pleaded poverty so the group picked up all costs etc. Comes early December they inform me that Johnny will not be at our Christmas party, seems the entire family was taking a trip to the UK for three weeks at Christmas! I don't care if they were staying with family, if they can afford a three week vacation in the UK they can afford to pay our fees!!
    Hi Doug, can I ask how was this resolved in the end to get them to pay up - were you just up front with them after you heard about the 3 week trip ie if you can afford the trip, you can afford to pay us!?
    Ruth

    Lovin' my gadgets!

  14. #14
    nele
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    Its important to make sure you get all the facts when this sort of thing happens. People may get tickets for a special event or a vacation from a family member as a gift. I know my mum once paid for us to fly over and see her using airmiles. She regarded it as as much a present to herself as us. This doesnt necessarily mean a family is well off.

    I havent often had people who said they couldnt afford things, we tend to have a different public. However if I feel that may be a problem I ask. If I felt people were trying to take advantage I think Id ask them to volunteer in some way.

  15. #15
    SL 1st High Lane Scouts JeanieJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nele View Post
    If I felt people were trying to take advantage I think Id ask them to volunteer in some way.
    I think suggesting some volunteer work can be a good way to tackle the 'charity' aspect of offering a subsidy. We've got a family with 2 kids in our group. The mother is bringing up these two and their two older siblings on her own. The two older kids have issues with drink and drugs and she doesn't want the younger two to succumb to the same influences. She's desperate for them to stay in Scouting but we know she's got financial issues even though she didn't say anything. It was so very, very difficult to broach the subject because we were hugely embarrassed and so was she but I'm glad we did. We've offered two for one if both lads come to camp plus a reduction in Subs and our GSL has asked her if she would be prepared to clean the Scout Hut in return (since our ABSL had to retire due to ill health). Now she feels like she's making a valuable contribution to the Group instead of getting a handout and we get to keep her lads in Scouts as they are completely brilliant!

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