Hampshire Scouts 'in desperate need' of adult volunteers as Covid-19 restrictions ease
SCOUT groups across the region are in desperate need of more adults to support increasing waiting lists.
At the moment there are 15,600 young people in Hampshire that are members of the Scouts.
But thousands more sit on waiting lists across the county and these lists are only expanding, due to a lack of adult volunteers.
Now, Hampshire Scouts have joined a national campaign called #GoodForYou, promoting the benefits that volunteering with the Scouts can have for adults.
Peter Marcus, the county youth commissioner, has been volunteering with the Scouts for seven years.
He said: ‘I have been a volunteer since I was 16 years old, and it has been great.
‘You get so much out of being a volunteer, from life skills to incredible experiences.
‘We’ve got waiting lists right across the county, and every time we want to open a new group we need to get more adults on board.
‘As a volunteer I’ve travelled the world and made some life-long friends – it’s definitely something that’s worth doing.’
In Gosport, the 6th Scout troop has 90 members, but a further 25 on the waiting list.
Scout leader Lisa Young fears that without more adults, children could miss out on trips in the future.
She said: ‘During the pandemic it has been fine because things were done virtually – but now we’re in desperate need of some more volunteers.
‘The bottom line is that we just don’t have enough adults, but have seen a huge bounce in the number of children wanting to join.
‘Not only does this mean that we can’t facilitate them, but it could mean that we can’t bring all the guys on trips with us, which would be a huge shame.’
The #GoodForYou campaign has been designed by the UK Scouts to show how volunteering is a two-way street.
While the Scouts get new volunteers for leadership roles, book-keeping and so on, the volunteers get something out of it too.
Lisa said: ‘The skills and experiences are great, but there’s even more rewarding things in the long-term.
‘It looks amazing on your CV – it actually helped me to get every job I’ve had – and makes you feel good too.’
For more information about volunteering, people can go to hampshirescouts.org.uk.