Lothian MSP prepares to be Scouts Youth Advocate

Lothian Conservative MSP Miles Briggs has taken up the challenge to complete the new Scouts Scotland Youth Advocacy Award. In the same way that Scouts earn their badges, Miles will earn the award by completing a number of actions that were chosen by young people in Scouting to help MSPs experience the life changing opportunities that the Scouts offer. The award celebrates and highlights MSPs who are raising issues related to young people within the Scottish Parliament, and includes the options to learn a skill, raise issues relating to young people in the parliament or in the media, and visit a local Scout group.


To complete the award Mr Briggs has visited a local Scout group (103rd Braid Scouts Troop), raised issues relating to young people in the Parliament, will take a Scout group on a tour of the Parliament, and is attending a camp this summer at Bonaly.


Miles Briggs MSP said:


“I’m delighted to be taking part in the Scouts Scotland Youth Advocacy Award over the coming months. Scouting makes a huge difference across the Lothian region, helping young people to get outside, contribute to the community, and develop vital skills for life. I’m really looking forward to working with the young people in Scouting to earn my badge.


“ As my party’s Mental Health Spokesman, I am very clear that organisations like the Scouts and Guides and indeed many others like the Boys Brigade and other schemes like the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award can play a vital role in boosting the self-confidence of our young people and making them more resilient in later life. We should be encouraging young people to get involved in these organisations and doing all we can to support the volunteers who are the backbone of our youth programmes.”


Tudor Westwood, Chair of the National Youth Advisory Group for Scouts Scotland said:


"The exciting thing is that this badge encourages politicians to see and engage with, first-hand, the extraordinary work Scouts Scotland does every single day in Scotland. Our Scouts are active citizens and I believe this advocacy award will help to inspire more of our young people to engage with democracy and work towards social change.”


The award is also designed to give politicians a greater insight into the work that Scouts Scotland is undertaking week in week out in Scotland. As the largest volunteer-led mixed youth movement in Scotland, Scouts Scotland support nearly 40,000 young people to enjoy new adventures, experience the outdoors, interact with others and gain confidence. 

Scouting exists to make young people’s lives better, helping them to realise their full potential, and providing them with the skills they need to succeed in life.

You can help Scouts Scotland to support more young people in Scotland by donating on the website


About the Youth Advocacy Award

  • In order to earn their badge MSPs must complete 4 out of 7 requirements: visit a local Scout group, raise issues relating to young people in the Parliament or in the Media, take a Scout group on a tour of the Scottish Parliament, engage with a Scouts Scotland Youth Advisory Group, attend a Scouts Scotland event and take part in activities, learn a skill or visit a Scouts National Activity Centre.

  • This award was designed in partnership with young people who sit on the Scouts Scotland National Youth Advisory Group.

  • Scouts Scotland have a National Youth Advisory Group (NYAG) and are in the process of setting up local youth advisory groups across Scotland. These groups are vital in ensuring that Scouting is led by young people in partnership with adults. We want to create a modern Scouting movement that young people want.

  • The award can be earned over the five year term of the Scottish Parliament, and any of the requirements earned before the award was launched all count towards achieving the badge.

  • On completion of the award MSPs will be presented with a pin badge and a certificate.

About Scouting in Scotland

  • 11 of the 12 people to walk on the moon were Scouts.

  • Adults volunteering in Scouting contribute in excess of 364 million hours of voluntary work each year to their local communities across the United Kingdom.

  • Scouts are aged 6-25; we welcome adult volunteers of all ages.

  • At present there are more than 3,100 young people on waiting lists in Scotland. Becoming an adult volunteer is fun, rewarding and good for your CV.  Adult volunteers receive full training, support and many opportunities for adventure as well.

  • Scouting is the largest co-educational youth movement in Scotland.

  • Scouting is open to everyone regardless of faith, gender, sexuality, race, or ability.

  • 1 person began Scouting on 1st August 1907 (Robert Baden Powell); today nearly 550,000 Scouts (young people and volunteers) now take part in the UK and 40 million around the world.

  • What have Bear Grylls, David Beckham, Tim Peake, Paul McCartney, The Duchess of Cambridge, Richard Branson and Jamie Oliver all got in common? They were (or are) all Scouts.

  • The first registered scout troop in the world was the 1st Glasgow, registered in January 1908. The Scottish Scout Council was founded in 1909 to administer Scouting in Scotland. 

  • Scouts Scotland released its most recent membership census figures in April 2016. There are now 46,095 members in Scotland. Scouting in Scotland has enjoyed 10 Years of sustained youth membership growth.

  • Adventure is at the core of Scouting, and Scouts Scotland exists to actively engage and support young people in their personal development, empowering them to make a positive contribution to society.

  • We offer over 200 activities from abseiling and coding to drama and archery. All made possible by the efforts of 8,222 volunteer leaders in Scotland.

Miles Briggs