Bob-a-Job week returns this week, two decades after the Scout Association scrapped it over health and safety concerns and the rise of compensation culture.
For generations of Scouts, it was a time for raising money by performing good deeds – until health and safety fears and the rise of compensation culture saw it scrapped. Now, 20 years after the last one, Bob-a-Job week will this week be revived by the Scout Association, as leaders attempt to rebuild the movement's traditional commitment to helping others.
The scheme, which starts on Saturday 12th May 2012, will see more than 144,000 children take part in thousands of community projects across the UK. The revamped scheme has been designed to comply with health and safety laws and to avoid the risk of compensation claims that saw its previous incarnation halted in 1992. Then, unsupervised children, would knock on strangers' doors to ask if they wanted jobs done. Now, the scouts will operate in groups while carrying out work and will be supervised all the time by their leaders.
Bob-a-job week was first introduced as a good turn day in 1914 by scout movement founder Lord Baden-Powell. In its previous format, officially known as Scout Job Week, it was started during Easter week 1949 and became an annual fixture.
The scheme got its nickname from shilling, colloquially 'bob', that the youngsters were paid for completing their good turn - which would now be worth 5p.