Hardship

The Group recognises that there are circumstances where members of the (Scout) Association may be unable to meet the financial commitments for key Scouting events, but their participation would be both deserving and of significant benefit. This policy outlines the framework for handling cases of financial hardship related to events. Hardship cases are always considered on a case-by-case basis, and only where sufficient funds are available.
Implementation
  • When a young person’s parents or carers approach the relevant Section leaders, the Section Leader should enter discussions within the constraints of this policy. The Leader(s) may ask the GSL, Group Chairman (GEC), or Treasurer to participate.
  • Final approval requires the agreement of the Grants Board.
  • The total amount available for support (the Hardship Fund) in a given calendar year is set at the AGM. The Group Executive will not allocate support beyond this total.
  • Any request for further support must be agreed by the Group Executive Committee.

The primary consideration must always be the young person: if they are keen and active members then we should be doing everything we can to enable them to participate.

Commitment to Scouting

The applicant must show a regular commitment to the Group, commensurate with the subsidy requested. The following is a minimum:

  • Membership of the Association
  • 6 months of regular attendance, confirmed by their relevant Section leader.
Financial situation
  • Support for members in financial hardship to attend camps/events in the UK or abroa
  • Support for members in financial hardship to purchase uniform
  • Support for members in financial hardship to support subscription payments
  • Support for individual members with special needs to participate in Scouting
  • One off Section grants of up to £200 per year for activities / camps

The fund will support individual and family members in ‘financial hardship’, something which can be a difficult subject to discuss with young people, parents and leaders. Therefore a section grant is also available so a leader can offset cost for some activities they feel are in danger of being exclusive due to cost. Young people and adults who are carers or are considered ‘looked after children’ (in care) would also be eligible.

Evidence that can help make best judgement of ‘financial hardship’ would be if a family is in receipt of and not limited to one of the following:

  • Free school meals
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • An income-related employment and support allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working tax credit
  • Universal Credit
  • Housing Benefit

The grants are provided on a matched funding basis (i.e. the recipient must usually make a financial contribution alongside the group’s grant). In special circumstances, grants may be made without matching funding.

Payment options

This would be directly from the group funds to the camp / event treasury and preferably by bank transfer.

Subscriptions

In cases of hardship, subscriptions may be reduced at a rate agreed by the group executive.

Confidentiality

Information relating to individual hardship cases is often highly personal and is treated as strictly confidential. Any record of discussion of a hardship case at Group Executive Committee will be reported in a Confidential Minute, separate to the normal minutes.

Policy Revision

This is v1.0 of the Hardship Policy, and was adopted on 12th September 2016.

Please follow this link to download an application form:
Application for Penistone Scouts Group Hardship Fund