The Woodcraft Folk loses subsidy

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Thursday, March 17, 2005

London – The Woodcraft Folk, a British socialist inspired youth organisation, lost its government subsidy of GBP 52 000. The Department for Education and Skills said the organisation's claim for a grant lacked detail and that they did not have “sufficiently robust outcome indicators”, meaning that it did not represent a “good value for money”. This is the first time in 40 years the group was denied funding by the department.

Loss of the grant puts the future of the organisation in doubt. The grant money provides a fifth of the funds that helps pay for its full-time staff and headquarters. The rest comes from donations, subscriptions and a grant from the Co-operative Group

Some members of Woodcraft Folk have charged that the real reason the funding was stopped is the group's strong support against the Iraq War. It has helped lead some of the anti-war movements.

It now plans to mount a campaign to get the funding back.

The Woodcraft Folk started in 1925 as a socialist and co-operative alternative to the Scouts, who were seen as increasing militaristic in the years immediately after the First World War.