Lancashire Scouts more popular than ever
Membership grows to over 13,000 members
- West Lancashire Scouts membership grows to over 13,000 members
- Largest Scout County in the North West
West Lancashire Scouts have enjoyed their 13th year of consecutive growth and Scouting is now enjoyed by more people across West Lancashire than at any time in its history. With numbers reaching over 13,500 members they are now the largest Scout County in the North West and are on track to reach their target of 14,000 members by 2018. There has been growth in all 8 districts that provide Scouting in Lancashire, most notably in Wyre District which has grown by 20% in the last year.
More than 10,000 young people are benefitting from Scouting in 162 Scout groups across West Lancashire, which provide a varied programme of fun, challenge and adventure supporting young people to develop their social skills, make friends and enjoy new experiences together, with activities ranging from archery and camping to rock climbing and kayaking. The experiences gained through Scouting activities such as, Climbing and Sailing as well as community volunteering has certainly helped girls and boys aged 6-25 years old to get a better start in life. Syrus, a Beaver Scout from Wyre added, “I love Beavers because we have so many adventures and trips out.”
And it’s not just young people that are enjoying the fun, challenge and adventure of Scouting as adult membership has grown across all eight districts in the Scout County, showing that Scouting has something to offer for everyone. Scouting is proving particularly popular with adult volunteers with more people giving up their time in a variety of roles such as leaders, charity trustees and skills instructor, all of whom help to provide a better start in life for young people and have a positive impact in their communities. Helle Howarth volunteers as a Beaver Scout Leader with 1st Fleetwood Scout Group said, “I became a leader to help young people try new experiences they cannot get anywhere else. My son was in Beavers and it has really helped his confidence.”
Lead Volunteer for Growth, Jon Minshull from Wyre, said, “Over the last 13 years we have seen the Scouting grow in West Lancashire by more than 4,000 members with 3,000 of those being young people.” He added, “Our continued growth has been achieved by the fantastic teams of volunteers who continue give their time flexibly to provide fun, challenge and adventure across our communities.”
West Lancashire County Commissioner Steve Morton commented: “To grow for 13 consecutive years across all eight districts is fantastic and reflects the growing popularity of the Scouting movement nationally. In only 12 months we have seen a large increase in in membership from ethnic minorities and Eastern European communities and experienced the fastest growing youth membership across the north west. To meet this demand we’re already planning to open 20 new sections this year and would love to attract more adult volunteers to work with our young people.
“Through our activities we are equipping young people with skills for life such as teamwork, leadership, independence and decision making. We offer an exciting and varied programme, ranging from health education, visits to observatories and fire stations through to canoeing in Greenland, trekking across Mongolia, skiing in Scotland, climbing a first mountain and all things in between.”
Chief Scout Bear Grylls said: “I am super proud to see so many young people and adults learning new life skills, and achieving personal rewards through Scouting in the UK. I am excited to see Scout numbers continue to rise across the UK, especially the numbers of girls.
“What I’m most pleased about is that Scouts across the UK are putting their time in to helping their local communities. Through our A Million Hands campaign we are pledging one million hands to supporting four of the biggest social issues currently facing the UK and the wider world, but we can’t do it on our own. We want all young people to come and give Scouting a try and to get involved. This is how we can all play a vital role in shaping tomorrow’s world for the better.”