Portsmouth scout leader gets award for dedication

Lord Mayor Steven Wylie and Ron Jacobs. 'Picture: Craig E L Elliott
Lord Mayor Steven Wylie and Ron Jacobs. 'Picture: Craig E L Elliott

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HIS services to the Portsmouth Scouts have seen Ron Jacobs pick up a prestigious award.

The district manager, who has spent more than 50 years in the Scouts, received a Civic Award at the mayor-making ceremony at Portsmouth Guildhall.

Starting out with the 21st Fratton Scouts as a cub in September 1951, Ron progressed through the different age groups.

Ten years after joining, he gained his Queen Scout Award in 1961.

He then travelled around the UK leading expeditions as a Scout leader to the Lake District, Wales, the Peak District and Northern Ireland.

Ron, 71, spoke of his joy at receiving the award.

‘I’m absolutely delighted – it’s a great honour,’ he said.

‘I have been at the Scouts since I was eight so it is a long time to dedicate your life to something.

‘But I love it and have some really great memories.

‘Without the people in the Scouts around, I never would have achieved the award.’

Ron has been the district manager for three years but is retiring from the position.

He added: ‘I’m stepping down primarily because I think I’m getting too old.

‘Portsmouth needs a younger person, who I’m quite willing to support.

‘I could go on forever detailing the marvellous memories of my Scouting career, which by no way is not over yet.

‘I will be deputy for whoever takes over.

‘But I have thoroughly enjoyed all of it and will continue to do so.’

For the past 10 years, Civic Awards have been given for voluntary service in the city over and above what could be expected.

Former leader of the Portsmouth City Council, Gerald Vernon-Jackson, said: ‘Volunteers are unsung heroes.

‘Ron has changed the lives of thousands of young people in Portsmouth.

‘Scouting teaches life skills, companionship and drive to strive.

‘I would encourage anyone to step into Ron’s shoes.’