Subs 2024

Each year, every active member of Scouts across the UK pays a subscription fee (“subs”) and the money goes towards running activities nationally and in local areas. In our Group (1st Inkpen and Kintbury – covering Beavers, Cubs and Scouts) this is usually paid in monthly instalments by bank transfer or standing order.

This year, the Trustees of the Group have made the difficult decision to increase the amount of subs that we charge from £8.50 to £11.00 per person per month, with effect from your payment dates in April 2024. We know this is a significant increase, so this page includes more information about why this is happening. There is also information on what to do if you can’t afford this increase, as money should never be a barrier to Scouting.

It’s important to mention that we review subs regularly to make sure it’s fair, and this is the first increase for over 5 years. We will be reviewing again in November 2025 and commit to not increasing subs again before April 2026, meaning this amount will be the same for at least 2 years.

One of the things that helps us to keep subs down is the use of Gift Aid. If you’re eligible, this is a great way to help us get extra funding from the government. You will receive emails shortly to ask to update Gift Aid records in OnlineScoutManager, as we are moving away from using paper forms for administration. This won’t affect our ability to claim Gift Aid on past payments, but even if you’ve already filled in a paper form, please make sure you fill in the online one so we can manage everything in one place.

What makes up the subs amount?

The total amount is made up of three main costs:

  • The annual membership fee set by HQ. This goes towards running Scouting nationally and covers elements such as insurance. More information on how this is spent is available online:
  • Amounts, known as levies, set by the district and county. This helps with local running costs such as district events and volunteer support.
  • The Group levy, which covers regular weekly expenses, such as craft items and basic equipment repairs. It also covers non-optional costs for the group, such as building insurance and utility bills.

Subs does not cover optional costs such as new equipment, building improvements, camps, or external activities, for which we either fundraise (for things benefiting everyone) or pass the cost onto you as an event fee.

Each member pays a total of these three amounts to the Group as their annual subs, and the Group pays invoices for the fees and levies on behalf of its members.

Why are subs increasing?

Firstly, HQ are increasing the annual membership fee. While this isn’t a big increase, it is bigger than normal, and is a cost we hadn’t got in our budget for this year. 

Secondly, our district and county are increasing their levies to cover their increased costs and allow them to run better activities. 

Thirdly, our fixed maintenance costs have been gradually increasing over the last few years. With grants and fundraising we have been balancing the books, but we can’t sustain the difference in the long term, and it means we’ve been partially relying on past fundraising efforts to keep the lights on when they should be used to provide improvements. This has only become really obvious in 2023 when grants and fundraising relating to the garage extension came to an end. If we don’t tackle this now, then we erode our reserves, and put the group at financial risk.

What if I can’t afford it?

We are committed to providing adventure and skills for life to all children in our community, regardless of their financial background. Money should never be a barrier to Scouting, so if this increase isn’t affordable, please speak to your child’s leaders, or email [email protected]. We promise to treat you with respect and work with you in confidence.

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How to get involved

Register interest in volunteering or join our youth programme