With a wave a new support spearheaded by double Paralympic medallist Tom Hamer and survival expert Bear Grylls, the Scouts in Burnley and Pendle have reported the highest number of adult members on record in their latest annual membership figures.
Over 690 people are involved in the Scouts in Burnley and Pendle, including 188 adult volunteers: more than at any point in its history and a 19% increase compared with last year. But with more people needed than ever before, youth workers, charity trustees, and skills instructors are urged to get involved.
Despite such high numbers of volunteers, however, the waiting list for young people who want to join the Scouts across East Lancashire has sky-rocketed to 543, the highest figure in its history as Scouting continues to be the largest co-educational youth movement in the UK with 12 consecutive years of growth in youth membership.
Rawtenstall-born Double Paralympic Silver Medallist and Local Scout Ambassador, Tom Hamer (18), said: “I joined the Scouts as a volunteer because I think it’s a good environment to give young people skills for life. I really wanted to inspire young people whilst having fun and I think it’s an exciting new challenge for me too.”
Chief Scout Bear Grylls said: “I’m super proud that we have so many adult volunteers are helping young people develop the skills they need to succeed in life. Our challenge is to keep recruiting even more adults as we’ve got 51,000 young people wanting to join and benefit from what Scouting offers.
"Volunteering changes us all for the better," he continued. "Please join me.”
Chris Taylor, Local Scouting Manager, said: “Our adult volunteers today seek much more flexible volunteering arrangements than in the past, so that they can fit it around their busy lives; many adults have limited time. We need more volunteers as a whole in order to accommodate the continued demand."
“My Scout Leaders are heroes," said Owen Cockcroft, Explorer Scout from Burnley. "Every week they provide me with new skills that help me develop as an individual and help me to create a better society.
"I’ve recently been working on a project to help people with dementia through our A Million Hands campaign," Owen added. "None of this would be possible without the amazing support of volunteers in Scouting.”
For more information on how to volunteer, go to www.scouts.org.uk/join.