If any families are having difficulties paying then the Group is certainly willing to discuss options. Our primary consideration is the young person: If they are a keen and active member of the Group then we should try to enable them to take part. However we are a charity ourselves and we are funded entirely through subscriptions. So we must respect the wider membership and use our income wisely, so this does need to be managed sensitively for all parties. 

Raising a hardship issue

We do appreciate this is a delicate issue, so a parent can raise it with whatever Leader they are most comfortable talking to. However the matter will then need to be passed to the Chairman and Group Scout Leader. The process for parents is: 

  • Step 1: Please raise the issue up-front 
    Please don’t just stop paying without telling us as this causes a lot of work, and if not tackled can lead to suspension and friction. If we know, we can work with you. 
  • Step 2: Let’s discuss what you can pay 
    Maybe we can arrange a temporary discount for subscription fees, and there might be national grants available. 

The support available

There are typically two hardship measures the Group can take: 

Temporary emergency measureLong-term measure
 
 PurposeThese are one-off discretionary emergency measures intended to support a family while they adjust to new circumstances. They write off some money owed to the Group. These are long-term measures, and due to the high cost to the Group, evidence will be required. The general consensus is that “free school meals” provided by the LEA is a good measure, but equivalents can be discussed.  
Subscriptions Write-off of up to three months fees. 
Condition: Member must have been in the Group for at least 6 months 
⅓ reduction funded by the Group 
Condition: The reduced fee must be getting paid monthly. Note: No time constraints here as it could be from day one. 
Major event Write-off of up to 50% of the cost of an event, up to £50. 
Condition: Member must have been in the Group for at least 6 months 
⅓ reduction funded by the Group 
Condition: Member must have been in the Group for at least 6 months, and must be paying regularly. 
Conditions These can be applied if both the GSL and Chairman agree. For confidentiality reasons it is not taken to Exec though Treasurer is informed. A YP must have been a member for at least 6 months. A family can only invoke this once per Financial Year. This is subject to evidence being provided. The Exec will need to be made aware of this ongoing financial challenge. 

Limits to hardship support

In all cases the availability of hardship funds is subject to what is available in the ‘Hardship fund’ pot allocated at the start of the Financial Year. Once it is spent, there is no further hardship fund available from the Group. There may be funds available from elsewhere, though we cannot guarantee this.

Please note: Event loans and delayed payments are not normally allowed because of the high risk to the Group (and Trustees), and the management overheads.