First Consumer Scout badges awarded to east Antrim group

Azara Smyth and Alfie Keith are now proud Consumer Scouts.
Azara Smyth and Alfie Keith are now proud Consumer Scouts.

Islandmagee Scout group is championing a new consumer programme to ensure younger shoppers are aware of their rights when they purchase online or on the high street.

Under the Consumer Council and Scouts NI-developed initiative, successful participants will be awarded a new Consumer Scout badge.

Back, from left: Stephen Donaldson, Chief Commissioner of Scouts NI, Sheila McClelland, Chair of The Consumer Council, Sammy Wilson MP for East Antrim, John French, Chief Executive of The Consumer Council and Anne Nicholson, Northern Ireland Scouts Commissioner. Front from left: Alfie Keith, Azara Smyth and Jack McCalmont from Islandmagee Scouts.

Back, from left: Stephen Donaldson, Chief Commissioner of Scouts NI, Sheila McClelland, Chair of The Consumer Council, Sammy Wilson MP for East Antrim, John French, Chief Executive of The Consumer Council and Anne Nicholson, Northern Ireland Scouts Commissioner. Front from left: Alfie Keith, Azara Smyth and Jack McCalmont from Islandmagee Scouts.

Scouts from Islandmagee group were the first to receive their badges, which they helped design. They were presented by former Scout, East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson.

Mr Wilson said: “I would really like to congratulate Scouts NI and The Consumer Council for this excellent partnership and launch event. Just because some of our consumers are younger or may not have the same financial responsibilities, it does not mean they shouldn’t have the same access to consumer knowledge.

“I am pleased to see how the young Scouts will have a greater understanding of their consumer rights, especially when it comes to buying things on the internet.

“The knowledge they have gained will mean they can act as consumer champions, going out into the community to help their friends and families better understand their consumer rights.”

Commenting about the programme, John French, chief executive of the Consumer Council, said: “Our research shows young people are often unaware of their basic consumer rights and can lack the confidence to complain if they buy something that is faulty or if they receive poor service.

“We hope these young people use their new consumer skills and share what they’ve learnt with friends, family and schoolmates.”

Anne Nicholson, Northern Ireland Scouts Commissioner, said: “Young people are constantly being bombarded with advertising messages, and need the skills to spend wisely, shop safely, and to complain if things go wrong.”