Hedingham Scout Training and Employment Scheme

Cambridge District Scout Archives

Gilwell Archives

This is a draft of a letter requesting money for the scheme, referring to plans for 1935 and the possibility of having to wind up the enterprise.

The scheme promised employment after a three month course, open to Scouts and non scouts who are willing to abide by ‘Scout Discipline’.  Camps were run along the lines of Scout camps.

The skills taught fitted men for private service but the letter defends this focus on the grounds that this is where the demand from employer’s exceeded supply, and that the skills can be taught within the time available.  It noted that many joined the Police Force or the Services, possibly on the back of a credible reference.  Some men may have come to appreciate that they could tolerate the lifestyle, somewhat akin to a military life; or out of desperation. (See ‘The Mint’, T E Lawrence for a view of the life.)

The Week’s Good Cause         9th September 1934    BBC National programme

An Appeal on behalf of THE HEDlNGHAM SCOUT TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT SCHEME by Major-General The Right Hon. Lord MOTTISTONE, C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O. 

Since the last broadcast appeal on behalf of the Hedingham Scout Training and Employment Scheme, 350 men have been trained and placed in permanent employment, making to date a total of over 500. Two new camps have been started— one at Ossemsley Manor, Christchurch, and the other near Cirencester. With four camps running at full strength, approximately 360 men can be trained and placed in employment every year. Those eligible are unemployed young men from the distressed areas, who are prepared to give up their unemployment benefit, if they are in receipt of it. 
The Scheme is run on Rover Scouting lines with a Rover Leader in charge of each camp. During the three months’ course the men are trained for private service, i.e., as kitchenmen, cooks, parlourmen, chauffeur-handymen, chauffeur-gardeners, and grooms. 
The Scheme, which is under the auspices of the Boy Scout Imperial Headquarters, is not limited to fitting men for private service, but embraces any trade for which they have an aptitude, even the police force. The Ministry of Labour has backed it from the beginning by making a grant towards capital outlay and running expenses. Over and above this, there is required £10 for entry man to be trained. For this sum, not only can a man be trained, but he can be placed in a job, provided he does well in Camp. 
Her Majesty the Queen and the Prince of Wales have most graciously sent donations and wished the Scheme every success. 
Contributions will be gratefully acknowledged and should be addressed to …

JWR Archivist May 2019