Appeal to get more scouting volunteers in Wigan

Bear Grylls
Bear Grylls

Tens of thousands of young people are being forced to wait to join the Scouts, due to a lack of volunteers.

Record numbers of people are signing up to help out, but many have a limited amount of time to give, according to the Scout Association.

Wigan has a thriving scout movement but like other scout groups across the country requirement more volunteers.

The borough has has 18 Scout Groups that cover; Abram, Ashton, Billinge, Golborne, Hindley, Ince, Pemberton, Orrell, Shevington, Standish, Wigan and Winstanley.

There are also six Explorer Scout Units across the District that provides Scouting for those who are in the 14 to 18 years age range.

Nationally, in total, 154,000 adults now volunteer for the organisation, more than at any other point in its history, according to the latest annual membership figures.

This includes youth workers, charity trustees and instructors.

More young people are getting involved, with 7,000 joining the Scouts in the 21 months up to the end of January.

But the waiting list has also grown, with 51,000 youngsters on standby for a place - the highest figure in Scouting’s history.

Tim Kidd, UK chief commissioner at the Scout Association, said: “Our adult volunteers today seek much more flexible volunteering arrangements than in the past, so that they can fit it around their busy lives.

He urged people to volunteer for the Scouts, adding that the organisation is making it easier for those with limited time to join by being flexible about a range of roles, including group leaders, administrative and trustee positions.

Overall, there are 457,000 young people involved in the Scouts across the UK. Once adult volunteers are included, the membership is 618,000, up 7.8 per cent.

Chief Scout Bear Grylls said: “Our challenge is to keep recruiting even more adults as we’ve got 51,000 young people wanting to join and benefit from what Scouting offers.”