QUITE how global Scouting is was shown at Cheriton Bishop when Ugandan Scout, Gidds, called to talk about Mercy Scouts and how Scouts all over the world are helping people in his country.

That afternoon too a small group of Devon Scouts who returned home three days earlier from Seoul excitedly talked about their experiences.

Mid Devon Scouts are supporting the amazing work of Mercy Scouts, an international not-for-profit Scouts relief and development organisation set up by. 

Gidds with a team dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice, drawing strength from Scouts groups, global diversities, resources and experiences. 

Its main focus is the less privileged people of Uganda who are not able to have access to the basic necessities of life such as food, safe water, shelter, proper clothing, healthcare and education.  

People who have to cope with life at its unbelievably harshest.  Where a mere £5 will pay for clean, filtered water for five children for a whole year.  

Or provide one child with a mosquito net to protect it from contracting malaria. 

To provide girls with sanitary products, or glasses so that people can see better.  

Gidds said it was all about supporting young people in Uganda, if their parents or grand parents cannot see too well, it is harder for them to help the young people.

“It is about international support so that adults and young people find out about life,” he said.

Gidds was kept so busy the whole afternoon that had hardly had time to drink a cup of tea, never mind tuck into his first-ever cream tea until it was all over.

The Scout HQ at Crofters Mead, Cheriton Bishop buzzed with people all afternoon, Scouts from all sections in Mid Devon had the chance to achieve part of the International Activity Badge as well as their Global Awareness Badges. 

Gidds was selling wristbands and Friendship bracelets made by Ugandan Scouts from recycled waste materials including fishing nets. 

The afternoon was organised by Scout Leader Paul Charlton who had met Gidds in 2017 at a Jamboree, was impressed with the work he was doing in Uganda, stayed in contact and so when he knew Gidds was coming to this country, he invited him to Devon. 

Gidds arrived in England on August 15 via Sweden and Denmark, enthusing people all the way about Mercy Scouts.  This was the fifth event he had been to in this country.

From Devon he would be going to Bristol, Scotland and then London before returning home after a two-month trip. At home Gidds is a coffee grower. 

Paul added that it was about making our young people understand and appreciate the differences and problems with the common thread among them all was that they are all members of the one big family of Scouting. 

“They begin to realise there are young people who cannot just turn on a tap and have clean drinking water, to make people here understand it is a real issue,” he said.

As well as the bracelets, Gidds was selling barkcloth table mats and place mats made from waste materials. 


Still glowing and fizzing from their trip to Seoul, South Korea for the International Jamboree were the five local Scouts who were speaking about the experience. They were Leader Linda Atouguia and Scouts Sam Carling, Alice Smith, James Cooper and Sophie Cooper. 

They said they had got used to it being so hot with temperatures at about 35° C and 100 per cent humidity.  

There were 40,000 young people from 170 different countries.

Olivers of Crediton had given the scones and jam, Tesco had donated the tea, coffee and squash, the cream was from Rodda’s. 

The day raised at least £300 for Mercy Scouts.