Donating an item to the Scout Association Heritage Collection
The Heritage Collection contains many objects, photographs and records which have been kindly donated to us by member of the public and Scout groups. The Collection is stored and managed from the Scout Association Headquarters at Gilwell Park, Chingford. There are three members of staff, who make up the Heritage Team, the Heritage Service Manager, Heritage Collections Officer and the Heritage Research Assistant.
If you think you may wish to make a donation to the Heritage Collection please read the following information or download our leaflet "Donating to the Heritage Collection". Please don't send us your potential donation without contacting us first.
What we collect
The Scout Association Heritage Collection has a ‘Collecting Policy’ which outlines the kinds of objects, photographs and records we are able to collect. The policy takes into account our resources to conserve, document and store items, so we can preserve them for the future. It is important that we don’t duplicate material already held in the collection or accept items which may be better stored elsewhere or have more relevance to another collection. A diagram summarising our collecting rationale can be found at the end of this document.
What to do next
If you think you have an item which The Scout Association may be interested in we would like to hear about it, please download and complete a ‘Donation Enquiry’ form to tell us about your item. The more information you can give us the easier it will be for us to make a decision, for instance do you know who it belonged to, where it was used, do you have any stories about the item or person it belonged to that might be relevant. We have completed a sample form to give you an idea of the type of information required. If you can send us photographs of the items or copies of photographs or records this will also help.
Please send the completed form to email@example.com or post to
The Heritage Team
The Scouts Association
Please don’t bring an item to Gilwell Park as we may not be able to see you without an appointment. Please don’t send an item through the post without prior arrangement.
Please note we do not give valuations of items and whilst the Scout Association has a small purchase fund we are not normally able to purchase items from individual donors.
As an organisation we hold bi-monthly meetings to decide what items to bring into the Collection, attending the meeting are representatives from different teams who are able to offer advice on whether they think the items may be useful in the future. When we receive your ‘Donation Enquiry’ form we will let you know the date of the next meeting so we are able to let you know when a decision will be made.
If we decide to accept your item/s
If we decide we would like to accept your item/s into our Collection we will ask you to sign a ‘Object Entry Form" and return this form to us when we receive the items. We ask that you keep a copy of the form for your own records. This form permanently changes the ownership of the item from you to the Scout Association. This means you cannot reclaim the item at a future date. If you wish to view the item in the future please contact the Heritage Team and we will do our best to accommodate you. Where appropriate (photographs etc.) we may ask you to sign any copyright you hold over the item to enable us to use images of the items in exhibitions, on-line and in publications.
What will your item be used for
Currently the Heritage Collection doesn’t have a permanent location for displays and exhibitions. The Heritage Team are actively looking for different ways to use the Collection including developing on-line exhibitions, social media, loans to other organisations and learning and engagement opportunities both within the Scout Association and with the wider public. Your item/s may be used during this programme of activity but we can’t guarantee when this may happen at the time the object is accepted into the Collection.
If we don’t accept your item
If we aren’t able to accept your item into the Collection please don’t be offended, we are always grateful that you considered donating to us. We have limited resources to care for the Collection and have to make an objective decision on each item. If you are offering a group of items we may be able to accept some of them but not the entirety of the group, please consider whether you would be happy for the items to be separated when you complete the ‘Donation Enquiry’ form.
We will do our best to offer you advice on who else may be interested in the items, for instance; local archives and museums.