Increase in Scouts creates need for more leaders

POPULAR Scouts at Gosport Civic Remembrance service
POPULAR Scouts at Gosport Civic Remembrance service
Youngsters at Manor Infant School and Nursery celebrate with headteacher Ashley Howard, centre. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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PORTSMOUTH and Hampshire is celebrating a surge in the number of Scouts with national figures showing more girls than ever before are signing up.

The city currently boasts a total of 1,086 members as three new Beaver colonies, three new Cub packs and two new Scout troops opened in the last year.

Laura Godfray, 15, an endurance explorer Scout based in Cosham, said: ‘Scouts gives me somewhere safe to go where I can have fun, challenge myself, take part in exciting activities and make life-long friendships.

‘All this has helped me to push myself and to be more confident. Scouting rocks!’

The impressive growth of Scouts has led to an urgent need for adult leaders to cope with demand.

Pippa Rickard, a Beaver Scout leader based in Southsea, said: ‘Being a leader is one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done.

‘It’s great helping young people develop and watching them get the most out of life week in, week out. I’ve also picked up loads of transferable skills that I’m able to use in my career and wider life.

‘I would encourage anyone to join the movement as a leader – it’s a chance to make a real difference to the lives of young people.’

Nationally, 4,330 girls joined the Scouts compared with 3,796 boys in 2010, which means female youth membership has increased by seven per cent in the last year.

To enquire about the Scouts, visit scouts.org.uk/join or call 0845 300 1818.