Scouts raise more than £500 in leader’s memory

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SCOUTS in Portsmouth have raised more than £500 in memory of their Scout leader who passed away last year.

Pete James, a volunteer Scout leader with 72nd Portsmouth Scouts for almost 20 years, died in July 2011 after losing his battle with oesophageal cancer.

Pinnacle Explorer Scouts organised a camp at his favourite site, Woodend, and took part in sponsored walks and bike rides to get to the site to raise funds.

Friend and fellow Scout leader Mike Atkinson said: ‘Pete James inspired hundreds of young people and helped them to achieve activities outside their comfort zone. Scouting was very fortunate to have had a leader as committed as Pete.’

In total, £217 has been awarded to both Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support, with a further £96 being used to buy an Explorer Scout flag and a plaque dedicated to Pete, who had previously been involved with Scouting in Havant.

Sixteen-year-old Explorer Scout Daniel Bailey said: ‘Woodend was his favourite campsite and he enjoyed a good sing-song around the campfire. He was also good at telling jokes. He was a funny, scary bloke that made you laugh one minute and scream the next.’

A cheque was presented to Macmillan Cancer Support on July 9 in a ceremony attended by Pete’s son, David James. He told the Scouts his dad would be proud of their efforts.

He said: ‘I am greatly moved, but not surprised, by the level of effort and caring that the Explorer Scouts have shown through their fundraising, as it is just one example of the good that lies at the heart of the Scout Association.

‘During my dad’s long battle with cancer Macmillan were always there, whether we wanted information, advice, or just a cup of tea and a friendly chat.’

‘They were able to offer my dad counselling to help him come to terms with what he was going through, but also gave a lot of support to us, the family.’