In today’s society, I feel it is becoming increasingly difficult for young children to form meaningful and sustained relationships with others their age due to the ever-increasing pace we live our lives at. Kids are swept up by schoolwork, technology and many other distractions from such a young age, that they develop a routine that almost solely accommodates for friendships in-school and nowhere else. I think this very restricting, especially for children with lower social skills or learning disabilities because whilst school is the time when they are supposed to be making friends, that is not what the system focuses on, meaning that children can quickly find themselves either left behind in terms of friend groups, or overwhelmed trying to balance fitting in with working hard. This is one of the main reasons I think the scouting movement is one of the best established charities, both in the UK and globally. Ranging from the age of six, all the way through to twenty-five, the scouting movement offers support and opportunity to all types of people, in all types of situations. It allows children to work on their social skills in a non-pressured environment and build meaningful friendships with people they choose, rather than whoever happens to be in their class at school. Whilst every scout group is different, most offer a range of activities, therefore covering a broad spectrum of skills that are improved; this helps children towards their full physical, intellectual and social potential.

Furthermore, having a strong friend group and support system outside of school gives children a chance to focus on their work in school, without worrying overly about friendships. It creates a safety net for children who might experience difficulties at school, and an open, accepting space for those who might experience bullying or something similar. Building friendships and spending time with others their age outside of school hours helps to naturally bring face-to-face interaction – simply for the social, friendly aspect – back into a child’s routine.