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Save our scouts! District in desperate need of volunteers and executive staff

Struggling Scout groups in the district are looking for new leaders and executive staff to be able to keep the already bursting full groups open and so that they can expand.

The Scouts which has 10 groups, soon to be 11, in the area are reaching out for all levels of staff both leaders and management.

Martin Brooks, District Commissioner for Bury St Edmunds, said: “The problem we have, is more youngsters are on waiting lists than adults to handle them.”

1st Honington (RAF) Merlin Scout troop spell out the Scout promise using spaghetti shapes.
1st Honington (RAF) Merlin Scout troop spell out the Scout promise using spaghetti shapes.

He estimates there are 150 children and young adults on waiting lists in the 10 areas he manages.

Scouts are split up into five age groups, Beavers aged six to eight, Cubs eight to 10 and a half, Scouts 10 and a half to 14, Explorer Scouts 14 to 18 and scout network 18 to 25.

Anyone can become a volunteer, which involves an interview and DBS check.

Currently there are Scout groups in Great Barton, Thurston, Ixworth, Honington, Horringer, Mildenhall, Lakenheath, Red Lodge, two in Bury St Edmunds and there is soon to be a new group set up in Priory School which will predominantly cater for young people with special needs. It is planning to open at the end of the month.

The Scouts are particularly oversubscribed in the Horringer and Bury St Edmunds groups.

Martin said: “We are looking for people who are keen to take the roles on, people who are determined to do the best for young kids.”

A large proportion of the leaders volunteer when their own children start at Beavers or Cubs and follow them through until they are explorers then leave when their children do, leaving the groups with not enough adults to supervise.

The training to become a Scout leader is free for all volunteers.

Martin added: “The qualities we are looking for in a leader include being able to look at situations and assess, volunteers need to be able to plan the evenings and programmes and they need to be able to deal with children’s changing behaviour.”

Activities enjoyed by Scouts include camping, rock climbing and outdoor adventures.

To become a volunteer, contact Martin on 07531560701 or email dc.bse.suffolk@gmail.com

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