In 2013 we created a Kindness Challenge Badge for Girlguiding with two Brownie and Guide groups, after which, it became an ambition of ours to explore the idea with Scouts groups.
In June 2019 that ambition was realised, when People United worked with 14th Canterbury, 16th Canterbury and Worthgate Scouting groups to explore ideas for a new Arts and Kindness badge. A group of 40 local Beaver and Cub Scouts came together to take part in workshops and interactive research fairs to measure the impact that a one-day event might have on young people’s understanding of empathy, views of humanity, creativity and prosocial intentions.
We commissioned three artists to deliver a fun packed day of arts and kindness. The young people worked towards creating acts of kindness animations with artist Sue Bridge, playing improv games promoting generosity with actor Oliver Senton and writing kind plays with theatre facilitator Benjamin Ridge.
The animations, which are all about the stories told by 6-10 year olds when asked ‘what is an important act of kindness?’ have been turned into a short film, which you can view here.
The stop-motion animation is a compilation of short stories where kind deeds are played out by all sorts of characters from space dogs to rollerblading pals. The Beaver and Cub Scouts reflected on acts of kindness they do regularly to form the story lines. Everyday things like – making cups of tea for Grandad appear alongside imaginative tales of red panda friends sheltering from the rain together.
The films highlights both small and large acts of kindness which make a difference to people and places. The young people thought it was important to spread messages of; working together, being a good friend, saying kind words, donating to food banks and ditching plastic. The narratives celebrate and promote key values such as being generous, helpful, caring, responsible and compassionate.
Following the Scouting for Kindness events we worked with Shazza Ali, a Researcher and Doctoral Student in the School of Psychology at The University of Kent, to create a report exploring how participating in the day’s events affected children’s feelings of kindness and creativity.
The full report can be downloaded below.
Canterbury City Council