Figures announced by the Scouts today show that more adults are coming forward to volunteer in Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham. The organisation is now calling on people to step forward to take on support roles to make sure Scouting is enjoyed by more and more young people.
Over the last 10 years there has been a 60% rise in the number of adults helping out the Scouts locally. In 2004 the number was 353, with 1,715 young people as members. This year there are 568 adults and 2,356 youngsters. Scouting also continues to grow across the UK where there have been nine years of sustained growth.
All these extra adults need supporting however, especially when they’re new to their roles, and this is putting an increasing strain on those adult volunteers in support roles.
Jim Butcher, 34 from Wrexham, holds several different support roles in Scouting. He is the group manager of the 1st Rhosnesni Scout Group, supporting a team of over 20 adults, he manages six different Explorer Scout Units, he sits on the District Executive Committee and advises on the running of the Scout Shop.
Jim said, “I really enjoy the challenge of these roles, and get to see how my time directly helps more young people enjoy Scouting. However there are times when having more people in these crucial roles would help me out. Anyone with a bit of experience in administration, event planning or managing other people could easily help us. They don’t need to have been involved in Scouting before.”
The increase in membership numbers locally reflects the latest census figures nationally which have just been published. This data provides evidence of sustained growth across the UK for the ninth consecutive year with a membership total of over 550,000. This has cemented Scouting as the largest co-educational youth Movement in the country.
The Scout Association, which seeks to transform the lives of young people by providing an inspiring programme of everyday adventure has confirmed its commitment to further increase the number of young members. It is launching a plan to recruit a further 58,000 more young people, as well as 18,000 more adult volunteers, by 2018. Over 200 activities, including adventure glider flights, skiing, rock climbing and water zorbing, are offered by Scouting around the UK, so it’s no surprise that more and more young people are joining the Movement.
Laura Bentley, a 17 year old Explorer Scout from Marchwiel said: “I go to Scouts to have fun, it’s as simple as that. The opportunities it has given me are amazing, whether it’s an expedition abroad, a local camp, or simply a weekly meeting with the group, I’m always learning new skills and have even had the chance to participate in activities such as scuba diving and windsurfing. The ‘get involved’ attitude of Scouting has given me a level of confidence which I didn’t have before. Also, being a Young Leader at a local group has given me a level of responsibility that I would not have experienced through school or college, and has given me the chance to help those younger than me discover new ideas and develop skills as they grow through Scouting.”
Sam Wilde, a 15 year old Explorer Scout from Gresford said: “I’m a young leader because it’s a time when I can show what I’m made of and prove to my peers that I have something I’m good at, as they are at things like football and BMX. It helps me because it’s a place where I’ve overcome my problem with talking out and to large crowds and I’ve improved so many skills along the way and I have had my voice heard because I am seen as mature because of my role.”
Chief Scout Bear Grylls said: “I am super proud to see so many young people and adults learning new life skills, achieving personal rewards through Scouting. I am excited to see Scout numbers continue to rise across the UK and the big reasons for this are that more and more young people are realising that Scouting can give them so much – whether it’s the opportunity to be involved with some incredible adventures, learn practical life, outdoor and teamwork skills, or helping to improve their local communities. People don’t want to miss out and Scouting brings them all together, empowers them and allows them to make a positive impact.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
- For further Information or interview requests please contact Moz on 07779 272340 – however please note that I’m away on a Scout canoeing expedition with 150 others down the River Wye this weekend (see what we mean about doing lots of roles!), so if you don’t get an answer, please contact Gordon Richardson, Area Commissioner, on 07970 140004.
- Attached photo shows kids having fun at the Clwyd Scouts’ Bangoree event were hundreds of Scouts from across NE Wales camped together at Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse – “Can you help the Scouts meet their targets?”
ABOUT THE ANNUAL CENSUS
- Each year The Scout Association conducts an annual census of its membership. This is carried out across the UK and allows the Movement to identify trends and patterns of growth and development both locally and across the UK.
• The Scout Association was founded on 1 August 1907.
• Adventure is at the core of Scouting, and the Association passionately believes in helping their members fulfil their full physical, intellectual, social and spiritual potential by working in teams, learning by doing and thinking for themselves.
• Over 200 activities are offered by Scouting around the UK, made possible by the efforts of over 100,000 volunteer adult leaders. This has helped make Scouting the largest co-educational youth Movement in the UK.
• One of the challenges that the Scout Movement faces is finding more volunteers to plug the current gap. At present there are over 40,000 young people on waiting lists as more and more young people want to experience the adventure of Scouting.
• Studies have shown Scout Leaders contribute the equivalent of 37 million hours voluntary work every year which is the equivalent of £380 million pounds worth of unpaid youth work.
• Worldwide Scouting has more than 30 million male and female Members and operates in nearly every country in the world.
• In January 2012, HRH, The Duchess of Cambridge started to volunteer with the Scout Movement with her local Group in North Wales
• 91% of Scout volunteers and 88% of youth members say that Scouting has helped them develop key skills for life (Source: nfpSynergy Brand Attributes Survey, May 2012 and PACE Members survey 2011)
• In 2012 Scouting was voted the UK’s most inspirational and practical Charity. (Source: nfpSynergy Brand Attributes Survey, May 2012 and PACE Members survey 2011)
• 44% of parents would would like their children to join Scouting (fast.MAP 2013)