Matt Hyde has been Chief Executive of The Scout Association since April 2013. Prior to that he was Chief Executive of the National Union of Students for seven years during which time the organisation underwent transformational change.
Before joining NUS, Matt was General Manager of Goldsmiths College Students’ Union, Deputy General Manager of King’s College London Students’ Union, President of the University of London Union and President of Queen Mary and Westfield College Students’ Union. He has a first class degree in English from Queen Mary College and an MBA from Westminster Business School.
Matt has also worked in the voluntary sector for a number of years. He is Vice-Chair of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and a trustee of Step Up to Serve (established by HRH The Prince of Wales to increase the number of young people undertaking social action). He is also a Patron of UNLOCK (the National Association of Reformed Offenders) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts. Matt was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from Queen Mary College in 2012.
1- In no more than three sentences, please explain what you do
I’m the Chief Executive of The Scout Association. Thanks to the efforts of over 110k volunteers we provide life changing opportunities for over 450k young people through fun and adventure. Working with our UK Chief Commissioner (lead volunteer) and UK Youth Commissioner I am responsible to the Board of Trustees for delivering a strategy that ensures all young people in the UK have the opportunity to enjoy, and benefit, from Scouting.
2- Who inspires you?
You’d probably expect me to say this but our Chief Scout Bear Grylls in one of the most inspiring people I’ve worked with. He is a values-driven, family man who is a seriously impressive leader. His energy and creativity is relentless and what he does for Scouting is extraordinary. Whether its visiting camps around the country or speaking to Barack Obama about our amazing work he is constantly championing the organisation because ultimately, however financially successful he is and however famous he is, he wants to make a difference in the world and genuinely believes in improving young people’s life chances.
3- What is the biggest change you want to see in the world?
Bit of cliché but the biggest change I would want to see in the world would be the eradication of child poverty. In Scouting we believe in giving young people the best possible start in life and we know that the earlier the intervention the greater the impact you can have on someone’s social mobility and wellbeing. It’s why part of our strategy is focused on being present and sustainable in 200 of the most deprived wards in the country.
4- What would you like to be remembered for?
Being a good dad and husband and having made some difference to improve some people’s life chances.
5- What is the most interesting new idea you’ve come across in the past year?
In my role as a trustee of Step Up to Serve – the charity campaigning to increase the number of 10-20 engaged in social action from 40% to 60% by 2020 – I’m seeing lots of innovative work. I particularly like the way people are considering how to use volunteers differently, including in the field of health and social care. I especially like the way Kings College Hospital used volunteers to increase the number of acts of kindness for patients (like popping to shops to buy a newspaper) which led to major increases in overall patient satisfaction.
6- Finally, how can people engage with your work if they’d like to learn more/help?
They can go to our website www.scouts.org.uk or get involved in their local Scout Group. We still have 40k young people on our waiting lists and so we need more volunteers to ensure all those young people who want to experience Scouting can experience it. That could be helping out once a month or being involved as a member of the executive committee (trustee). Its enormous fun and you get to make a big difference!