At 8pm on Thursday 4th October 1883 twenty eight boys arrived at the North Woodside Mission Hall in Glasgow – The Boys’ Brigade was born and ever since then countless numbers of BB members have participated in a wide variety of activities and have learned skills that have helped develop them for life. Since then, the Brigade has grown to be a world-wide movement it has also developed a reputation for pioneering excellent youth work.
Each week around 20,000 Boys, around 5% of the target population, in Scotland take part in one of 400 BB companies. They are supported by a team of 3,500 dedicated volunteers and you will find BB groups all over Scotland working in all type of areas. We offer a wide variety of programmes and awards, including Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and our own Queen’s Badge.
As one of the main providers of youth work in Scotland, our reputation is vitally important to us. Stop someone in any High Street across the country and, if they haven’t been a member at some point, they will usually have heard of us. The BB name and brand is part of the Scottish psyche, just like the Sunday Post or the Scott Monument. Our reputation is as key to us as it is for any FSTE 100 company.
Our heritage in being around for over 130 years also gives us considerable credibility. People recognise that we have developed strong programmes and have considerable experience in working with a developing young people in a safe place. In Scotland we are blessed that many ex-members like John Swinney, Sir Alex Ferguson and Gordon Brown have went on to play a full part in civic society.
The reputation of the BB also means that parents and young people have confidence that the activities we offer will be well organised and first rate, and that applies whether it is a BB camp of a football competition. The fact that we work so closely with local churches also gives us added credibility and decision makers / funders recognise that the Brigade is a great source for good in modern society.
On a personal basis, reputation is all about delivery; for example: making sure you are always prepared and on time for meetings. Meeting deadlines and making sure your staff team / trustees and other stakeholders are informed and aware of current plans and the progress you are making.
Over the past few years we have invested heavily in raising the profile of the Brigade. The increased PR and social media coverage has been rewarding and we have been heartened to learn how much our work is still appreciated.
However, the best bit by far is still working with our great young people and seeing them fulfil their potential.
Director for Scotland, The Boys’ Brigade